Personally, I’m a huge fan of buying experiences rather than physical gifts for any occasion. Anyone will remember an experience at the theatre for a while and it’s a real treat for most people. Christmas can cause a real onslaught of ‘must spend x amount on all of the people’ and many people forget that you actually can buy experiences rather than having to buy items. It’s perfect for good friends who you’d love to spend some time with if you are able to go together, people who have got everything, and people who you buy for but don’t necesarily know their taste. In my experience there are a lot of people who don’t go to the theatre, but few people who don’t enjoy going to the theatre.
So, how do you buy the gift of theatre for people without spending far too much money, or telling them that you’re planning something?
Personally I love Zeek and I use it to save money on a lot of my shopping. It’s kind of an ebay – style situation, with people selling things they won’t use to someone for less than they would have to pay for it in the shops, and they have anywhere between 1-40% off gift cards. You can often find Theatre Tokens with around 10% off, so not only will you be buying someone an experience and the choice of experience, but you’ll also be saving a bit of money.
A funny thing happens when you search theatre tokens on ebay where you get some coins from many many years ago and I’m really not sure what their purpose is or was. Don’t buy those. Always worth a look though, some people just don’t enjoy theatre (strange, I know) and so have very little use for theatre tokens, and use eBay to sell them for less than face value.
2 – Buy a voucher on TodayTix
TodayTix is one of my favourite sites and the prices are already discounted in most cases, the interface is really user friendly and there aren’t any hidden fees. They do only sell tickets for up to thirty days in advance, but it leaves whoever you’re buying for with a lot of choice, and you can send the voucher by email so it’s perfect if you won’t see the recipient over the Christmas period.
3 – Buy tickets with Get Into London Theatre
IT IS NOW ON GENERAL SALE! Very exciting indeed. Look here for the best offers – the thing I love most about this is that there are absolutely no booking fees, so the price you see is the price you pay! There’s a very detailed post in the Bargain Theatre Facebook Group if you’d like more information.
4 – Buy tickets with LoveTheatre.
The thing I love about LoveTheatre is that you can search for offers, or search for a show and clearly see whether there is an offer. You can also click ‘Apply Offer’ and then only see the shows and performances which have the advertised offer applied to them.
5 – DIY – Make a virtual ticket.
This is probably my favourite method. I’ve made ‘tickets’ myself saying ‘pick a show and we’ll go’ more than once and I find that it really goes down well. I’ve done this for friends, and consistently do it for Grandparents at Christmas time – it’s much easier than trying to pin them down to a weekend and getting them to keep it free without giving them an actual reason. You can either write something just using word processing software and wrap it up nicely, or use a tool like Canva to create something.
6 – Buy an ATG Theatre Card or Theatre Vouchers
ATG own and run many of the theatres in London, but also a large number of regional venues – which is where they really come into their own. I wouldn’t necessarily advise booking tickets with them initially in London as you can often get better deals elsewhere. In regional theatres though, there often isn’t the plethora of offers on various sites that there are in London. The ATG Theatre Card is perfect for people who enjoy going to the theatre and are likely to book tickets to shows anyway – as it’s a membership which means no booking fees and often half price tickets for the first couple of nights of several regional productions. There are other benefits like 10% off drinks, free cloakroom, and free ticket exchange for ATG theatre card members. They cover theatres all over the country, so if you’re buying for someone who is a regular attender at a specific venue, this could be perfect.
Theatre vouchers do exactly what they say on the tin – but they are specifically for ATG theatres, so again, useful for someone who might like to see a specific production at a regional theatre on this list.
If buying tickets, remember to check my page of genuinely good deals & offers.
Want to be updated about the latest offers in London? Join our facebook community here.