Stage Savvy #9: Show theatre some ❤️ this Christmas cover photo

Stage Savvy #9: Show theatre some ❤️ this Christmas

Stage Savvy #9: Show theatre some ❤️ this Christmas cover photo
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Stage Savvy
15 Dec 2020 · Follow on Stagedoor

The theatre industry's had a shocker of a year – here's how to help

Even before today's surprise announcement that London is going back into Tier Three, theatre was having a horrendous year. Aren't we all? The only industries to come out of 2020 smiling are perspex screen manufacturers, hand sanitiser brewers, and anyone selling fleecy loungewear. But theatre is in a tougher spot than most; venues across the UK have navigated a bewildering succession of closed-open-closed-open rule changes, while the industry's mostly-freelance workforce have been left with little support. Here's how to help out – and get some gifts for the theatre fans in your life into the bargain.

🎄 Fill your stockings with stage presents

Theatre's freelancers are drawing on their talents to offer an all-singing, all-dancing array of stocking fillers. Theatre designer Declan Randall has crafted a theatre-themed set of cookie cutters (£21.50) so you can bake some treats that, unlike your average government announcement, won't leave a bitter taste in your mouth. The sharp bunch at Stagepins have made enamel pin badges inspired by musical theatre legends including Anne Boleyn, Elder Price, Edna Turnblad and Jean Valjean (£8 each). And Thou Art Viable are a bunch of Scottish theatremakers who've made hilarious Christmas cards telling politicians to get stuffed(6 for £10).

🎄 Give the gift of theatre

Giving online theatre tickets is great if a) you want to share your ennobling passion for the magic of live performance and b) it's Christmas Eve and you've missed the last post. By a Stagedoor gift card to make your money stretch further: you pay £20, and the lucky recipient will get £25. Or sign a loved one up a theatre streaming service (after reading our low-down of the best ones). Or support indie theatre companies by thinking small; Love from Cleethorpes, is a drama that plays out over postcards that land on your doormat (£12, begins in January).

🎄 Make a donation

If you want to get a present for Auntie Theatre this year, there's never been a better time to donate to your local venue, the theatre company that makes your heart sing, or to the freelancers that make theatre happen. Or if you had tickets for a show this month that's been cancelled, consider donating the cost of the ticket.

🎄 Have some fun at a fundraiser

Imelda Staunton, Giles Terera and Rosalie Craig are on the starry line-up for Looking a Lot Like Christmas, a virtual concert this Wednesday that'll help raise funds for Donmar Warehouse and local homeless people. Alternatively, A Christmas Wish will raise funds for charity Acting For Others via online comedy sketches and festive songs.

🎄 Put some joy in 2021

As we say a welcome goodbye to the year, get something wonderful in the diary; like Michael Ball dragging up in Hairspray (from 22nd April 2021). Or the masterclass in crisis management that is Come From Away: The Concert! (from 10th February 2021). Or escape to another dimension altogether with immersive show Doctor Who: Time Fracture (from 17th February 2021).

And if your friends and family don't like theatre, why not pop some mint humbugs in the post along with a ticket to Old Vic's online A Christmas Carol? It's been a tough year, but giving gifts while supporting something you love will leave you as jubilant as Scrooge on Christmas morning.

Until next week, Stage Savvy

ASK LYN: We hate musicals - what do we do with our unwanted theatre tickets?

"You may think you are confident about what you like and don’t like but until you try something different how do you know?"


Quotes of the Week

"I knew my community, and I knew there were so many lies being told about us not wanting those positions, and about us not having the right qualifications. I wanted to leave the industry with no option but to see us."

  • Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, talking about her work for Artistic Directors of the Future in Exeunt

"My work tends to be a little bit edgier... I was excited about the discipline of making an old-fashioned movie that is a Valentine to an industry that has gone away.."

  • Ryan Murphy, talking about creating The Prom in Variety


Stay Awake, Jake A man hits the motorways at 2am in this award-winning solo musical about fatherhood, responsibility and love. (18 - 19 Dec, tickets from £10)

Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown A very 2020 kind of panto from the boutique panto-mongers of Charles Court Opera. (Until 31 Dec, tickets from £26)


Swallows and Amazons Lyn Gardner recommends an online family show from Bristol Old Vic that's full of "retro charm" and 21st century spirit. (Available on demand, tickets from £4.99)

Dick Whittington "It’s good to see the NT stepping into the panto void created by the pandemic," writes Lyn. (Watch online for free from 23-27 Dec)


Give the gift of theatre!

Make your generosity stretch further with Stagedoor; pay just £20 for a £25 gift card, which can be redeemed on any show that's booking through the Stagedoor app. Purchase by 20 DecemberInvalid response

Get your gift card


Showstopper! The Improvised Musical Livestream - Christmas Special Olivier award winners The Showstoppers return to your screens one final time this year to bring some much needed festive cheer to your living room with a special Christmas edition. (Tickets from £10)

Cinderella See Carrie Hope Fletcher play Cinders in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical fairytale. (Opening 30 Apr, tickets from £24)

Get Up, Stand Up! This Bob Marley musical stars Arinzé Kene as the legendary activist and songwriter. (Opening 28 May, tickets from £18)

Anything Goes Will and Grace star Megan Mullally makes her West End debut in this '20s musical. (Opening 8 May, tickets from £30)

Hairspray Michael Ball plays Edna Turnblad in this feelgood dance musical's long-awaited return. (Opening 22 Apr, tickets from £21)


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