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Photograph: Time Out
Photograph: Time Out

Things to buy to support London’s cultural venues

Our city’s galleries, theatres, cinemas and clubs need your help!

Written by
Kate Lloyd
Time Out editors

Things are looking a bit dodgy right now. Covid cases are rising rapidly in London. Lots of us are sacking off socialising so that we don’t get sick over Christmas. The result? Footfall to London’s cultural institutions – who were planning on a semi-normal December – has massively decreased. Want to fight to keep your faves open, but a bit nervous about, you know, actually going out? You’ll definitely want to read on. We’re spending the next few days rounding up all the stuff you can buy to support London’s theatres, nightlife and music venues, galleries and cinemas. From brilliant merch to memberships, all this stuff makes excellent last-minute Christmas presents for friends (and treats for yourself).


Royal Opera House T-Shirt, £20 
This T-shirt was especially designed to celebrate and support the Royal Ballet’s return to the stage after lockdown.

Hamilton shot glass, £8 
Perfect for toasting the toast of the West End.

The Globe Shakespeare playing cards, £12.99 
Spoiler alert, Romeo trumps Hamlet.

National Theatre tea towel, £14.50
‘Everybody dies in Shakespeare’ or so says this tea towel. Mop up spills and look smart at the same time!

Royal Court Theatre Friend membership, £35
Gets your priority booking and discounted food. 

Donmar Warehouse Friend scheme, £75
Time was, ponying up for the £75 Friend scheme was basically your only way of seeing anything at the boutiquey Donmar. Gets you early access.

Good Friend membership at the Young Vic, £120
Bag the best seats in the house with priority booking, get three free programmes a year and support outreach work in Lambeth and Southwark.

Museums and galleries

Andreas Papanastasiu print from Royal Academy, £25
This very chic monochrome print would look good in your flat.

William Morris Gallery pouch, £11.95 
A timeless little baggy for storing essentials in.

Modern Matisse print from the Tate, £25 
An iconic and customisable print.

Whitechapel Gallery Bob and Roberta Smith Notebook, £8.99 
Much more exciting than your usual Paperchase number.

Estorik Gallery futurist fridge magnets, £8
Throw that tacky magnet you got in Malia in the bin, your fridge has cool new friends now.

Scott King, ‘Nostalgia is a Disease’ sweatshirt from House of Voltaire, £75
Don’t look back at 2021, because as Scott King says on this very hip sweatshirt, looking back is bad.

WW1 Scottish War Savings Committee print from the Imperial War Museum, £6
'Self indulgence at this time is helping the enemy' apparently.

Sam Porritt, ‘We Can Change!’ limited edition print from South London Gallery, £208.80
Buy yourself a little bit of hope with this posi Sam Porritt print, total bargain too.

Clubs and music venues

Oval space slip mats, £20 
Designed by Stefan Marx, these limited edition turntable slip mats feature artwork from the first year of parties at The Pickle Factory.

Camden Black Heart tote, £10 
The home of beer and bands now does merch. And it’s good-looking stuff too.

Membership to Cafe Oto, £150 
Gets you cheaper gig tickets, early-bird booking, discounts on records and access to special free events.

Bush Hall hoodies, £28 
Get a cosy grey lad to lounge about between now and the next time you head to this long-running west London venue.

Moth Club tea towel, £15 
This kitchen cloth saying ‘All children to be off the dancefloor by 9.30pm’ became a cult hit last year – and it’s back again.


Rio Cinema projection booth shower curtain, £51.46 
Quite literally a shower curtain designed to look like a projection booth.

Castle Cinema membership, £30 
Get free and discounted tickets plus priority booking for special events at Clapton’s finest.

Lexi Cinema gift membership, £45
Advanced booking, three cinema tickets for free, £2 off your other options and discounts at the bar and kiosk.

Prince Charles Cinema mug, £15
Changes from plain to decorated with a picture of the cinema when you add hot water.

Riverside Studios Film Club, £75
This membership not only gets you discounted tickets but also offers free popcorn (!!) and a free virtual cinema ticket a year.

Genesis cinema membership, £40 
Gets you four free tickets and discounts on the all the rest you buy over the course of a year.

READ MORE: Covid is shutting a lot of theatre shows – and it's a worry

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