1) Decide whether you would rather see a play or a musical: You can determine this by considering if you would rather hear music and enjoy dance performances as well as acting, or just acting on its own.
2) Research what’s on: The best way to do this is on the Internet, so you could search for West End (or Broadway) productions, or search for touring companies performing in a theatre near you. The other option is to see amateur plays/musicals, as they will generally be cheaper than professional productions, but may not be quite as good (depending on which amateur company you see).
3) Read all of the synopsis’ of all of the shows that catch your eye: You could even listen to the soundtrack of a potential musical, but knowing whether you find the subject matter of the piece interesting is the most important thing. When reading reviews try and read a few if you can, as they may all have written about different aspects of the show, and may have mixed views on the quality of the piece.
4) Pick which show appeals to you the most: and then you will of course need tickets. Decide whether you want to sit in the stalls or the grand circle etc, and of course consider your budget during this time.
5) Finally, book your tickets for a date that works for you: (and that is not sold out already) and enjoy the show.
A few extra things for you to consider:
1) Is this going to interest the age range I am booking for? (will it be inappropriate for your children, or aimed at far too young an audience for the elderly)
2) Will this show still be around in a few months time if I don’t see it now? (If a show is only due to be performed for a limited time, and your other choice is one of the longest running musicals, I would suggest seeing the other show first before it leaves the theatre).
3) Are the cast good? (If there have been incredibly poor reviews stating that the cast are all incredibly untalented, you may not enjoy the show so much).
4) Do I want to cry or cry with laughter? (Depending on what mood you’re in, and what sort of thing you enjoy watching, you may want to tailor whatever show you pick to what emotions you want to feel. If you want to cry, go and watch Les Mis or Miss Saigon, but if you want to laugh, go and see Matilda).
5) Do I want to see a new show, or relive an old experience? (Seeing a new show is probably the best option for most people, as some may see it as a ‘waste of money’ to see the same show twice, or they just want a change. However if the last time you saw something was years ago, or you really want to see your favourite show again then go for it! – After next month I will have seen Les Mis three times, and Wicked and Matilda twice , and I regret nothing).