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Theatre lovers' 2022 Christmas gift guide

Looking for some dramatic inspiration?

Nicholas Pound in Elf
© Mark Senior

Have you decked the halls yet? Have you hung up a stocking or two? And, most importantly, have you bought your theatrical friends a Christmas present that could warm the cockles of their stagey hearts?

Yes, folks. 'Tis the season to be jolly again and that means it's the return of our WhatsOnStage festive gift guide. So, without any further ado, here are 22 theatre-themed recommendations that are sure to jingle your bells and roast your chestnuts this Christmas!

If anything tickles your fancy, simply click on the title description to purchase the item...

1. Musical Theatre Bucket List

A must-have for any ardent musical theatre fan, there are a total of 100 musicals to scratch off this ambitious bucket list. #LifeGoals!

2. Show Journal

And whilst they're scratching those musical gems off their bucket list, why not get them to document their theatrical experiences in this purposefully designed show journal?

3. Tickets to the 23rd Annual WhatsOnStage Awards

One event that could take pride of place in a new show journal would be a trip to the prestigious 23rd Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, to be held on Sunday 12 February 2023 in the heart of London's West End. Tickets will go on sale shortly.

4. Back to the Future: The Musical Original Cast Recording

Speaking of the #WOSAwards, Back to the Future was crowned Best New Musical at this year's ceremony and the original cast recording was released in March. "Great Scott! What a perfect Christmas gift!" we hear you cry.

5. WhatsOnStage Theatre Club membership

The London Palladium
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

If you're a member of the WhatsOnStage Theatre Club already, then why not gift a membership to a loved one and you can make 2023 a perfect year to remember?

6. Master of the House: The Theatres of Cameron Mackintosh

The Delfont Mackintosh theatres are among the most beautiful in the world. Michael Coveney's book, which was published on 11 October, details the origins of these eight London venues, as well as the iconic shows they have housed over the years.

7. Matilda The Musical Original Film Soundtrack

The long-awaited film adaptation of the hit West End musical finally hits cinema screens in the UK and Ireland tomorrow! And this revoltingly good soundtrack will be released on 9 December... just in time for Christmas, maggots!

8. Designing Broadway: How Derek McLane and Other Acclaimed Set Designers Create the Visual World of Theatre

Matilda The Musical has one of the most eye-catching sets in the West End (kudos to you, Rob Howell!), but if you want to find out more about the wonderful world of scenic design, we recommend Derek McLane and Eila Mell's deep dive into the creative process. The hardcover will be released on 8 December.

9. RSC's William Shakespeare: The Complete Works

If you have a loved one who just can't get enough of The Bard, then the RSC's revised edition of Shakespeare's complete works, featuring the entire range of his plays, poems and sonnets and released in April of this year, would be the perfect gift! To buy, or not to buy, that is the question...

10. Sondheim Unplugged - The NYC Sessions Volume 3

The immortal legacy of one Stephen Sondheim continues with the third installment of Sondheim Unplugged - The NYC Sessions, featuring 42 musical hits from "Being Alive" and "Another Hundred People" to "Rose's Turn" and "The Worst Pies in London". Volume 3 is released tomorrow!

11. My Son's A Queer (But What Can You Do?) Original Cast Recording

Rob Madge's celebrated solo show made its West End debut at the Garrick Theatre last month. If you missed out (or are just missing it), then why not buy a copy of the original cast recording and buy one for a fabulous friend while you're at it?

12. Attack of the Monster Musical: A Cultural History of Little Shop of Horrors

Let a loved one take a trip down "Skid Row" and get lost in "Somewhere That's Green" with this ultimate guide to the ultimate cult musical! The paperback edition was released this September.

13. The Musical Theatre Card Game

Featuring 52 musicals from classics such as Cabaret to modern hits like Six, this card game would make the perfect gift for a theatre-obsessed member of your posse. And, as it's suitable for up to six players, they'd have no excuse but to invite you all over for Game Night!

14. The Drifters Girl World Premiere Cast Recording

Beverley Knight is set to star as Emmeline Pankhurst in the world premiere of Sylvia from 27 January at the Old Vic and Tosh Wanogho-Maud has just been cast in the West End premiere of Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations at the Prince Edward Theatre from 31 March. But for now, the vocals of both talented performers have been preserved on the world premiere cast recording of The Drifters Girl!

15. Come From Away: Welcome to the Rock

The multi-award-winning West End run of Come From Away is sadly coming to a close on 7 January. This hardcover companion not only includes the show's book and lyrics, but also backstage stories, character design sketches and songs that ended up on the cutting room floor.

16 . Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical Original Cast Recording and Poster

Another West End show set to close in January is Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical. But don't worry about a thing because a special CD and poster bundle will be available to purchase from 2 December.

17. Black British Queer Plays and Practitioners: An Anthology of Afriquia Theatre

This stellar collection of plays representing Black British LGBTQ+ perspectives includes Basin, Boy with Beer, Sin Dykes, Bashment, Nine Lives, Burgerz, The High Table and Stars.

18. National Theatre Connections 2022: 10 Plays for Young Performers

If you have a friend who is a young, aspiring actor, then look no further than this 2022 anthology, released as a paperback this past June. The collection includes Cable Street, Chat Back, Find a Partner!, Hunt, Like There's No Tomorrow, The Ramayana Reset, Remote, Superglue, Variations and You don't need to make a Big Song and Dance out of it.

19. Astonish Me!: First Nights That Changed the World

Dominic Dromgoole's detailed exploration of the "seismic" first nights that shaped our culture throughout the ages was released in hardcover on 27 October. Perfect for any history buffs you may know!

20. Frozen Cuddly Toys of Olaf and Sven

Something for the little ones? Nothing brings the festive joy like a warm hug with Olaf or his reindeer friend Sven. The storm that is Disney's Frozen rages on at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane this Christmas.

21. Hamilton 2023 Day-to-Day Calendar

You can't "Say No to This"! Why not let the smash hit musical Hamilton guide a loved one through 2023, entertaining them on a daily basis with lyrics from the show and excerpts from Alexander's own writing and speeches?

22. Musical Theatre Christmas Baubles Jumper

And finally, no Christmas is complete without a festive jumper! Personally, we're loving these musical baubles!