West End prices have been steadily rising for its marquee shows, like the long-running musical Les Miserables and breakout hits such as Hamilton. As recently as 2019, the average West End ticket price was £52, according to a study by the Society of London Theatre, but it’s increasingly common for individual seats to sell for more than six times that amount.
Most shows in the West End, as opposed to subsidised theatres like the National, use dynamic pricing models. The more popular the show, the fewer tickets available, the higher the prices.
That’s how two fourth row seats to see Cock, starring Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson, on the final day of its run, ended up costing one Twitter user £920. “Did these put the decimal in the wrong place?” they quipped.
The show was originally slated to star Taron Egerton, who collapsed on stage during the first preview performance on 5 March. The Rocketman actor eventually pulled out of the production for good on 2 April, citing “personal reasons”.
As exorbitant as Cock’s prices seem, the West End remains less expensive than its New York counterpart. There, according to CNBC, the price of an individual ticket maxed out at $697 (£566.70) for a Broadway revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in March.
In a comment to Time Out, a spokesperson for Cock defended the highest ticket prices as the result of “supply and demand” as the production concludes its 12-week limited run.
“Since the production went on sale last year, 15 per cent of all tickets sold have been at £2,” they said.
“There is a daily lottery for every performance where more tickets are also priced at £20. As the show nears the end of its run, the remaining premium ticket seats are based on supply and demand.”