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Criterion Theatre

Events

Coffee Morning - Criterion coffee morning
In the Bar and Foyer
2nd March from 10:30 to 12:30
In the Bar
8th March from 20:00 to 21:00
Come and join us at our first members social - a Crafty Cri Event. Bring along your current craft project and share tips, hints and techniques with fellow crafters and new learners. Whether you’re a knitter, a sketcher, a sewer, a happy hooker or a complete beginner who’d like to have a go, we’d love to see you, and your creativity, in the bar from 8pm. Nothing like a Knit and a Natter over a G and T or a pint or two! And bring friends along - they don’t have to be members. And if you don’t do any of the above do come along for a chat and a drink anyway! 
In the Bar and Foyer
8th March from 20:00 to 22:30
Coffee Morning - Criterion coffee morning
In the Bar and Foyer
6th April from 10:30 to 12:30
Book Launch - CRCB book launch
In the Auditorium and Bar
6th April from 19:30 to 22:00

News

As we head towards Christmas and 2024 I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all our wonderful members and audience members. It has been a successful year for us with fantastic productions, great events and building developments. From Coffee mornings to drama classes, our wonderful bar nights to the artistic endeavours we continue to grow and develop. None of which would be able to happen without the hard work, support and dedication of the team of volunteers, putting their time in day after day, production after production.  I would like to take the opportunity to say a personal thank you to the board and committees, that keep the wheels turning, for all their hard work this year. The dedication and selflessness, doing a difficult job, is commendable and appreciated.  I also wanted to let you know that Anne-marie Greene, our Artistic Director, is undergoing some health issues and will be going into hospital after Christmas and will be out of action for a few weeks while she recovers. If you know Anne-marie you will know this will be difficult for her, as a major driving force behind the Criterion, she is not good at putting herself first. I have no doubts that the theatre will rally behind her and support where needed to ensure she has time while she recovers. We have rescheduled her production of ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ to September to ensure that she can concentrate on getting fit and well to direct this wonderful play. Our love and best wishes are with her and the family.  As I write this our final show of 2023 is about to end after a sold out run, the set will be struck and work will start for the next. In the meantime, preparations are underway for the legendary Carols night on Friday 22nd December, the true start of Christmas I feel. I hope to see you there.   Finally, on behalf of the board, I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Best wishes,   Jon Elves, Chair.
17th December
    We are really pleased to announce the 2024 season so far. It is exciting and challenging, with a mix of genres, new writing and classic pieces, well known and unusual plays. Please look out for Open Reading and Audition notices coming soon.    STUDIO SLOT : WEDS 10TH TO SATURDAY 13TH JANUARY THE TRIALS BY DAWN KING (2022) Genre: Drama , Cast: 12 youth, 2 adults , Director: Alan Fenn _Synopsis: The near future. The climate emergency is gathering pace, and our generation is being judged. The jurors are children. But are they delivering justice – or just taking revenge? Dawn King's searing play was first performed in January 2022. The Trials offers an exciting opportunity for theatre companies to address the climate emergency and intergenerational conflict, as the jury of 12 to 17-year-olds hold the stage alongside two adult defendants._     MAIN HOUSE: SAT 16TH TO SAT 23RD MARCH A DIRTY GREAT LOVE STORY BY KATE BONNA/RICHARD MARSH (2012) Genre: Comedy, Cast: 4, Director: Kelly Davidson _Synopsis: A wry, funny, sweet-natured variation on the archetypal boy-meets-girl story. Nice, nerdy Richard and lately dumped Katie meet when a stag night and hen party collide and end up having a drunken one-night stand. Over the following months, they acquire new partners and, when their respective best friends get hitched, fleetingly meet at a wedding, a christening and a muddy pop festival. Wittily written, at times in rhyme, the pleasure of the piece lies in the language. It premiered in August 2012 as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival._   MAIN HOUSE: SAT 4TH TO SAT 11TH MAY SPRINGBOARD FESTIVAL 2024 A week of one act plays, poetry, music and art, bringing together amateur and professionals in one space, with in house company performances and community/Criterion collaborations alongside external artists, musicians and theatre companies, poetry workshops and art exhibitions.    MAIN HOUSE SAT 22ND TO 29TH JUNE THE HOMECOMING BY HAROLD PINTER (1965) Genre: Classic Drama, Cast: 5 (4M 1W), Director: John Ruscoe _Synopsis: Pinter wrote this two-act play in 1964, and it premiered in 1965. It is one of the playwright’s most unnerving works. Teddy brings his wife, Ruth, home from America for the first time to meet his family in London. The play is essentially one long power struggle between the male family members, with Ruth as the catalyst. The play is rich with meaning, picking at ideas of family, masculinity and the home. _   MAIN HOUSE RESCHEDULED SAT 31ST AUGUST TO SAT 7TH SEPTEMBER EVERY BRILLIANT THING BY DUNCAN MACMILLAN (2015) Genre: Totally heartwarming, Cast: 1, Director: Anne-marie Greene _Synopsis: When Mum’s in the hospital and Dad says she finds it hard to be happy, there’s not much a seven year old can do…1. Ice cream, 2. Water fights, 3. Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV. These are the first three items on a list of every brilliant thing in the world worth living for. As the child grows up, so does the list. It takes on a life of its own, a Facebook group is started, other people start adding to it, writing in the margins, making amendments, providing footnotes. The purpose of the list is forgotten and the mother’s depression doesn’t go away. Eventually, as a grown-up, they reach their self-imposed target of one million entries.  They call the list ‘Every Brilliant Thing’. Based on true and untrue stories, Every Brilliant Thing is a life-affirming story of how to achieve hope through focusing on the smallest miracles of life._     MAIN HOUSE SAT 19TH TO SAT 26TH OCTOBER 1984 BY ROBERT ICKE/DUNCAN MACMILLAN (2013) Genre: Drama, Cast: 8 (1W 1M, 6 gender non-specific), Director: Steve Brown _Synopsis: A critically acclaimed adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel. 1984 follows a group of historians as they discover the diary of Comrade 6079, Winston Smith. In a world where all citizens are closely watched by Big Brother, Winston’s life is jeopardised when he suddenly falls in love and begins to think free thoughts that threaten the scarily controlling government.  This is a chilling adaptation of a classic tale, which will leave audiences gripping their seats in fear._   MAIN HOUSE SAT 7TH TO SAT 14TH DECEMBER A CHRISTMAS CAROL : A FAIRY TALE BY PIERS TORDAY (2019). Genre: Classic Christmas drama, Cast: 15-30, Director: TBC _Synopsis: A really exciting re-imagining for the 21st century with an original, female-led version. In this reinvention of the timeless classic, Ebenezer has died and his sister Fan has inherited his money-lending business. _
22nd September

Links

Dirty Great Love Story

Mar 16th to 23rd 2024
Kate Bonna and Richard Marsh

A wry, funny, sweet-natured variation on the archetypal boy-meets-girl story.

Nice, nerdy Richard and lately dumped Katie meet when a stag night and hen party collide and end up having a drunken one-night stand. Over the following months, they acquire new partners and, when their respective best friends get hitched, fleetingly meet at a wedding, a christening and a muddy pop festival.

Wittily written, at times in rhyme, the pleasure of the piece lies in the language. It premiered in August 2012 as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Reviews of the Play

"Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna’s verse romcom is a wry, sweet-natured account of a totally believable relationship" Michael Billington, The Guardian.

"It’ll have you crying with laughter and melting inside because of its cuteness." Francessca Charlemagne, Everything Theatre.

 

EDI Assessment

In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. This play has no central diversity message. The narrative requires specific playing genders and ages, however all characters will be cast completely neutrally with regards to race and ethnicity. The story is written for a heterosexual couple. We embrace and encourage the rich tapestry of diversity that reflects the real world, and we actively welcome individuals from all walks of life to participate in the production.

Anniversary Celebrations 2021

Criterion at night

February 2021-February 2022 was the 60th anniversary of the Criterion Theatre opening. Why not check out the wonderful interviews conducted so far with members reflecting on their favourite memories and stories about the Criterion over the last 60 years in our Criterion Memories project.

 

Coming Soon

Various
Main House
May 4th to 11th
Harold Pinter
Main House
Jun 22nd to 29th
Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe
Main House
Aug 31st to Sep 7th
Robert Icke/Duncan Macmillan
Main House
Oct 19th to 26th
Piers Torday
Main House
Dec 7th to 14th

Just Finished

Dawn King
Studio in the Auditorium
Jan 10th to 13th
Joseph Kesselring
Main House
Dec 9th to 16th
Lucy Kirkwood
Main House
Oct 21st to 28th
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