The festive season is in full swing and if you’re shopping for the best Christmas gifts for theatre lovers, we’ve pulled together a roundup of some of the must-see West End shows. Whether they’re into musicals, comedies or prefer something weird and wacky, we’ve got a little something to make everyone smile, and best of all, these shows are all in our New Year Sale (open now for Mastercard holders or general sale from 13 December). Don’t miss out!
For the hopeless romantic
Jenna (currently played by Lucie Jones/Sara Barellies from 27 Jan – 7 March) is an expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a neglected marriage. When she unexpectedly meets a charming doctor and enters a life-changing baking contest, will she find the courage to rebuild her life? Waitress is a heartwarming Broadway musical that is sure to provide a good serving of romance, friendship, motherhood and pie! If french pastries are more your thing, Amélie The Musical could be just the pick! Based on the five-time Academy Award nominated film, this beautiful musical tells the story of kindness, dreaming and of course, finding love! Set in Paris and packed with gorgeous music and plenty of romantic fuzz, this stage adaption ticks all the boxes for a dose of romance. Fans of Shakespeare will love the playful and exciting adaption of RSC: As You Like It. When Rosalind is banished from her home she embarks on a journey with her best friend. Along the way they meet Orlando who is also forced from The Court into the forest. When he becomes love-struck by Rosalind, will love conquer all? Combined with music, comedy, puppetry and storytelling, this imaginative take by the Royal Shakespeare Company beautifully captures the joy of falling in love.
For laughter therapy
What could be better than gifting a good laugh in the capital city? The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is all about one enormous diamond, eight incompetent crooks and a snoozing security guard. Follow the twists and turns of this hilarious show featuring daring set-pieces, quip-filled word play and the very best of theatrical inventiveness that will have your friends or family laughing all the way home. For a murder mystery comedy, the legendary The Play That Goes Wrong comes from the same creators. Follow Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as they try their very best to stage a production of a 1920s murder mystery. Everything that can go wrong, does! Having played to an audience of over two million, this show is definitely worth gifting. Last but not least, God is back… and she’s got a lot to say! In the sinfully funny smash-hit show, An Act Of God (available from 13 December), the Almighty and her devoted angels rewrite the original Ten Commandments. Answering some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since creation, this hilarious comedy is sure to provide a giggle or two.
When the doorbell rings as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea, they certainly don’t expect to see a big stripy tiger at the door. Inviting him in for tea, they get more than what they bargained for! Packed with lots of magic, chaos and sing-a-longs, The Tiger Who Came To Tea will charm nostalgic adults and kids alike. For something new, check out the action-packed stage adaption of Kes Gray and Jim Field’s best-selling books in Oi Frog & Friends! The adventures of Frog, Cat and Dog at Sittingbottom school is the perfect gift if you are looking to introduce little ones to the world of theatre. Complete with rhyming rules, puppets, songs and plenty of giggles, find out what happens when Frog is in charge in this fun-filled musical adventure. The all-time classic Christmas panto, Goldilocks And The Three Bears is gracing the London Palladium this year. Step inside the spectacular Big Top and witness Dame Betty Barnum (Gary Wilmot) and her daughter Goldilocks (Sophie Isaacs) as they battle to save the circus from the evil rival circus owner (Paul O’Grady). From high-speed rollers-skaters and Europe’s youngest stunt rider to glittery costumes and sensational special effects, this jaw-dropping comedy is sure to be a winner with the kids. If you’re looking for more options, however, check out our roundup of Christmas shows for kids.
For something a little weird and wacky
From the producers of one of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists, comes Circus 1903 at the Royal Festival Hall for its second year. This heart-stopping, jaw-dropping show features everything from contortionists and jugglers to high wire performances and some of the much-loved acts from last year, including Peanut and Queenie, the charming larger-than-life elephants. For something a little more lairy, Cinderella is having a very modern British makeover at The Vaults Theatre. Set in a pub, the raucous show features spilled pints, bad karaoke and lots of live music and boozy chaos. For more weird and wonderful shows, take a peek at our roundup of alternative Christmas shows to see this winter.
For a boogie and sing-a-long
If an all-singing, all-dancing show is what you are looking for, we have plenty of options for you to choose from. Bop along to the iconic tracks of Michael Jackson in the electrifying Thriller Live. Smash hit tracks include: I Want You Back, I’ll Be There, Show You The Way To Go, Can You Feel It, Rock With You, She’s Out Of My Life, Thriller, Beat It and many more. Complete with innovative dance moves, video footage and special effects, this is a true celebration of a superstar. Speaking of iconic music, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is another great option for a night of grooving at the Aldwych Theatre. Follow the story of the global icon while rocking out to her classic songs. Fame The Musical is on for a limited time at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Based on the 1980 pop culture film phenomenon, this story tells the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts. From heartbreaks to stardom, follow the highs and lows in one of the best loved musicals across the world.
For a dose of inspiration
Start the new year by giving your loved one a dose of inspiration with & Juliet, a brand new musical currently taking the West End by storm. Told through some of the most famous pop songs (including Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and lots more), & Juliet picks up from where Romeo And Juliet finishes. This timely but timeless tale of a young independent woman will not only inspire you, but will have you boogying all night. In a heartwarming appeal for acceptance, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie really tugs at the heart strings. Based on a true story, the sensational show follows the life of a 16 year-old who has a secret and decides to share it with the world, despite being bullied. Another one for the books is the incredible real-life tale of the 7,000 air passengers grounded in Canada after 9/11 and the small-town community who took them in . Come From Away tells the story of friendship in the wake of a crisis and will leave you with a sense of gratitude and hope.
For the murder mystery fanatics
If you’re shopping for a fan of True Detective, Witness For The Prosecution is sure to satisfy their inner Sherlock Holmes. Take a seat in a court room setting in London’s County Hall and follow Agatha Christie’s landmark production of a gripping story of justice, passion and betrayal. Audience members will get to experience the intensity and drama of a fiercely contested trial with a limited number of VIP Jury seats also available per performance. In addition to this offering, we have The Mousetrap, one of the world’s most famous whodunnits. Even after playing for nearly 70 years, we’re still searching for the culprit in this beloved and brilliant West End show filled with suspense, wit and humour.
For the drama Kings and Queens
The gripping production, Touching The Void, tells the story of Joe Simpson’s and Simon Yates’ struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes. Opening to sensational reviews in the West End, David Greig’s thrilling adaptation will take you on an epic adventure, asking how far you’d be willing to go to survive. Uncle Vanya, in comparison, is all about love, loss and family tensions. When Sonya’s father returns to the crumbling family home with his new restless new wife and declares his plans to sell the house, long repressed feelings start to emerge with shocking consequences.
Give the gift of theatre with Theatre Tokens
If you’re unsure what show to book or what date to purchase them for, we have the perfect solution with our Theatre Tokens. These gift cards and downloadable eGifts can be used at more than 250 venues nationwide including theatres in London’s West End and the TKTS booth in Leicester Square. Your friend, partner, family member or colleague can use these theatre vouchers on any show they want, whenever they want!
Theatre Tokens can be purchased online at TheatreTokens.com, in person at any participating theatre and 800 Tesco stores across the UK, or by calling our Tokenline on 020 3011 0755. Fixed denomination paper Tokens can also be purchased on the high street at selected branches of WHSmith and Waterstones. Time to get shopping!