The Best Theatre Drinks, Snacks and Souvenirs
For many people, a big part of a successful theatre trip is extras like snacks and souvenirs: something good to drink or munch on pre-theatre or in the interval, and that perfect piece of merchandise to take home and keep as a memory of the show, and a great night out.
In our latest theatre guide, BroadwayWorld reviewers recommend some of their favourites!
Drinks and snacks
Fiona Scott: Waitress are so on brand with their snacks. I've loved sampling the various mini pie flavours on both sides of the pond, and the smell of pies pumped through the theatre is delightful. They also have really cute aprons and tea towels.
The Other Palace do fab cocktail puns, e.g. the Eu-gin-ius during Eugenius, and there were appropriately hued concoctions during Heathers. It's also nice to see they include a mocktail on these menus from time to time for those who'd prefer to skip the alcohol.
54 Below in New York has a similar vibe on their menu. I thoroughly enjoyed a "Pear Evan Hansen" when I was there a couple of years ago. [Might the West End production follow suit?!]
The two occasions I've been to Grange Park Opera in West Horsley have also been apt re: their choice of show with the evening's format. Both Oklahoma! and Porgy and Bess feature picnics in their plot, and the audience are encouraged to bring a picnic for the "100-minute interval".
I wish rustle-y sweets were banned; I can't think of any venues that don't sell something like that in some form. I appreciate it's how they make a lot of profits, but it can be just as bad as an unsilenced mobile phone! I appreciate when venues invite participants to unwrap whatever they've brought via an announcement before the show starts.
Bryony Taylor: The Old Vic do an amazing smorgasbord in Penny, their theatre bar downstairs. It's a bit snug in the interval and before the show, but it's still delicious!Also, Rose Theatre Kingston theme their food around their shows. When Captain Corelli's Mandolin was there, they served a bespoke goat dish - as the military in the show revert to eating the pet goat when they're starving during World War Two...
Charlotte Downes: I agree the themed cocktails at The Other Gin Palace are always good fun. The drinks themselves can be a bit hit and miss - Heathers had a much better offering than Toast - but I love the idea and they're good value too.
Gary Naylor: The coffee at the Union Theatre is as good as any in London!
Aliya Al-Hassan: The Rose Cafe at the Rose Theatre in Kingston is definitely worth a mention as they make everything fresh on site, daily. Coffee, cakes, biscuits and pastries are especially good and it's open Monday to Saturday, not just when the theatre is showing something.
On the other hand, the Royal Albert Hall should also be called out for not having drinking water out anywhere - you have to queue and ask for it!
Marianka Swain: The Bridge Theatre's freshly baked madeleines are rightly famous. And the Kiln Theatre's offering is much improved since its refurbishment - the meat and cheese sharing boards are particularly good. You also get 10% off hot drinks there if you bring a reusable cup.
Fiona: I like watching Wicked update its merch over the years. Just when I think I have all the merch I want, they bring out an even nicer "Defying gravity" T-shirt. A staple favourite is the punny towel with the phrase "Careful you musn't get wet!".
Having a standard mug or keyring is great for collectors. I used to collect T-shirts, but my collection became rather large - and rather expensive - so I don't buy so much merch these days.
The shot glasses at Hamilton that say I'm not throwing away my shot are also class. Like the show, they've given the historical characters a modern twist in their merch selection.
Charlotte: I'm still lusting after the 'Messy but Kind' T-shirt from Waitress, and my boyfriend has lived in his 'A.Ham' hat so far this summer. Also, the programme for The Twilight Zone was a great one - very glittery.
Aliya: The Coliseum must spend weeks putting their programmes together - there is always so much background information and interesting articles, as well as beautiful design and photography. Their shop is also lovely, with loads of things you actually want to buy.
Marianka: I'm a sucker for a good fridge magnet (particularly my colourful Company one), and I also love the badges from shows like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (keep the secrets!) and Come From Away - which make you feel part of the show family. Also, Hamilton merch is top-notch - still using my water bottle.
As for programmes, I prefer it when theatres offer you the playtext instead of charging basically the same amount for very little info and lots of glossy ads. The Royal Court and National are particularly supportive of writers in that regard, with the former now housing Samuel French and the latter's shop irresistible whenever I'm in the building...
What are your favourite theatre snacks or souvenirs? Tweet us @BroadwayWorldUK