Christmas Gift Guide: Theatre Enthusiasts

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A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (Macmillan Collector's Library) - light turquoise book with gold gilt edges
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (Macmillan Collector's Library). Photo by @mptonnesen on Instagram

A guide to the perfect Christmas present for theatre lovers

Love it or loathe it, buying friends and family presents at Christmas is an annual certainty, and nothing is more heartwarming than a successfully selected gift. If you’re sick of buying bog standard gift sets and novelty chocolates, then treat the theatre lover in your life to one of these amazing gifts.

Theatre Tokens

Chances are someone who loves theatre is going to really appreciate being whisked away to see a play. But what if you pick the wrong play? Or, if they’re the type to rival Michael Billington in theatre attendance, what if they already have tickets? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage: Theatre Tokens. Redeemable at over 260 venues across the UK, including the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman and more, this nifty little gift card touches all bases.

Theatre Tokens are available to purchase online or from 800 Tesco stores nationwide.

Ballet Shoe Keyrings

The perfect stocking filler, and charmingly sentimental, these delightful little gifts are sure to light up the face of any dance lover. And there is something so effortlessly festive about them too. You can purchase these miniature pointe shoes directly from world-renowned dance shoe manufacturer Bloch in the classic pink, Black Swan-inspired black or in scarlet à la The Red Shoes. For darker skin-toned shoes Ballet Black, a dance company formed to showcase the talents of black and Asian dancers, have their own range of key rings, which were created to celebrate their launch of the UK’s first ever brown skin-toned ballet shoes.

Ballet shoe keyrings are available to buy online from Bloch and Ballet Black for £6.

A Macmillan Collector’s Library Shakespeare

These might just be the most beautiful books you can get your hands on. Golden gilt edges, a blue ribbon marker, cloth binding, and achingly beautiful front cover illustrations make these the perfect good value but sentimental gift for any theatre or book lover. From A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Sonnets, all the Shakespearean classics are covered. There is also a myriad of other classic works, with titles from Austen, Chekhov, F. Scott Fitzgerald and more. The challenge is to read them without spoiling the pages.

Prices start from £9.99 and titles can be browsed on the Macmillan Collector’s Library website.

National Theatre Bookshop’s Play in the Post Subscription

Give the gift of a new play for your loved one to sink their teeth into each month. This one is for those who see, read, live and breathe theatre, and who aren’t afraid to stray from the classics. For £125 for 12 months or £65 for 6 months, The National Theatre Bookshop’s Play in the Post Subscription will have a brand-new play delivered to the recipient’s door each month. We’re talking re-vamped translations, pioneering texts and up-and-coming playwrights.

Subscriptions can be ordered via the National Theatre Bookshop website. Psst, they also have a version for fiction books.

Great Shakespearean Deaths Card Game

To win, or not to win: that is the question… This is Top Trumps for Shakespeare’s wackiest death scenes: the star-crossed lover’s tragic suicides, Macbeth’s brutal beheading, the Mrs Lovett-esque pie baking in Titus Andonicus - you get the gist. Add a little drama to your Christmas and compete for the goriest murder, the most dramatic passing and the most thrilling last words. The icing on the cake are the genuinely beautiful illustrations designed by acclaimed illustrator Chris Riddell.

The Great Shakespearean Deaths game is available to buy on Amazon for £11.99.