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Company Members' Annual General Meeting
In the Auditorium and Bar
22nd September from 19:30 to 22:00
Please note change of date.  Sephy and Callum sit together on a beach. They are in love. It is forbidden. Sephy is a Cross and Callum is a Nought. Between Noughts and Crosses there are racial and social divides. A segregated society teeters on a volatile knife-edge. As violence breaks out, Sephy and Callum draw closer, but this is a romance that will lead them into terrible danger. This gripping _Romeo and Juliet _story by acclaimed writer Malorie Blackman is a captivating drama of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world. Sabrina Mahfouz’s stage adaptation first toured the UK in 2019 and won the Excellence in Touring category at the UK Theatre Awards. It was commissioned and presented by Pilot Theatre in co-production with Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre Colchester and York Theatre Royal. Large Cast.  The reading will be run using Zoom so please contact Lucy Hayton on  if you would like the URL link for the session.     If you would like to take part and read for any of the sessions it would be helpful if you could email Lucy Hayton on  so that we can do some prior arranging of parts.   You are very welcome to just come along and listen and take part in the discussion after the read.    In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. The story of 'Noughts and Crosses' has a diversity story at its centre and is a love story set in a society divided by racial bigotry and a world rocked by terrorism.   This reading is licenced as an amateur production by arrangement with Nick Hern Books to ensure that artists continue to receive the royalties due to them.   
In the Comfort Of Your Home
29th September from 19:30 to 22:00
Coffee Morning
In the Bar and Foyer
2nd October from 10:30 to 12:00
In the Bar
20th October from 20:00 to 21:00


Our friends at the Talisman Theatre have been running a weekly series of short plays "Tea with the Tali". This weeks audio play is a "touring production" by members of the Criterion! So, why not grab a cuppa and sit back to enjoy this week’s Tea with the Tali play. ‘DINNER’ BY PAUL SMITH - A young man wakes to find himself tied to a chair in the dining room of an elderly couple. How did he get there and what will he do next? Featuring Pete Gillam as Ernest, Anne-Marie Greene as Hilda and Paul Forey as Jonnie. Produced by Paul Forey and Pete Gillam. Recorded at Warwick Avenue Studios, Earlsdon, Coventry. Music: In Party Mood written by Jack Strachey, performed by The West End Celebrity Orchestra. If you enjoy the piece, please do share the link with friends and family. Thanks to Dik Thacker for technical support and to Rod Wilkinson for getting us involved.  
11th June
Criterion President Keith Railton and Chairman Jon Elves talk about the Criterion Memories project and some of their own memories.   Helen Withers talks through her (and family's) fondest memories of the theatre and the production process.   Richard and Jill Warren share their memories about a range of topics from nudity, bar productions and armed guards at a Criterion buffet!   Dave Brown had no intention of joining a theatre group in 1964 but talks about the huge impact the Criterion had on his life, even after leaving to settle in Canada in 1973.   Dave Cornish talks about the magic created in the tech box over the past 45 years; from the creation of sound effects to missing cues while preparing for the next show!   Becky Cribden and Paul Forey talk about their time at the theatre from the younger generation's perspective. From unmemorable teachers in drama classes, to finding each other (and a lot of friends along the way) - and the odd sound box joke.   Jamie Firth talks to Gennie Holmes about her time at the theatre, including the difficulties of getting served at the bar when everyone knows your age, the thrill of period costumes in summer and the benefit of being on stage with your husband when things go wrong!   Karl and Sylvia Stafford talk about their time at the theatre, including making dresses, meeting at the theatre and trousers splitting on stage (everyone's favourite theatre story!   Pete Bagley talks about the days of getting postcards through the door, arguments about hobbyhorses and setting fires backstage.   Dave and Linda Holmes talk about their lives at the Criterion, with tales of wardrobe, set building and after show parties. * Apologies for the poor sound quality on the film.     Ian Knight talks about his "spiritual home", the development of technology in productions and falling through roofs.   Olivia Holmes and Pete Meredith about growing up within the theatre, learning life lessons and the sweat involved in firing guns on time!   Mark Wiszowaty about his happiest moments at the theatre, including a power cut that prevented a plague, and being booed at an old people's home.     John Ruscoe about his time at the theatre, including his fondest productions, and the balance involved in producing high-quality amateur theatre.  
25th April
The Covid lockdown has provided an opportunity to reflect  on a number of issues, and one of these has been our position and policy on equality, diversity and inclusion at the Criterion. We have always prided ourselves on the way in which we aim to be open and welcoming to everyone who comes through our doors. However, the recent demand for change, born of George Floyd’s murder and the wider Black Lives Matter movement has provided a particular catalyst for serious reflection. As a Board of Trustees, we have therefore worked to put together an Anti-Racism Reflective Statement [/../../edi/blacklivesmatter] that sets out our position and is not only a provocation to ourselves, but also a set of aspirations and a call to action to make real change and progress on equality, diversity and inclusion within our theatre.  Accompanying this, we have taken the opportunity to update our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement [/../../edi/edi-policy]. We think it is  important to proudly state our position, what we currently do, and what we plan to do to make improvements in the future around EDI . In order to move this agenda forward, we have produced a 2020-21 EDI Action plan [/../../../edi/edi-action-plan] which will include positive targets and review points and will be a subject of discussion at our Company AGM in September. We are asking all our members, volunteers and stakeholders to sign up to an ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion, and to commit to furthering diversity within our company and beyond it into the wider theatre and arts arena. We have also set up an EDI working group, and would welcome contact from any individual who feels they would like to be a part of this to We are also pleased to be involved in consultation with the Diversity in Theatre Group set up recently involving members from local amateur theatres. In the uncertain times ahead, we can look to move forward in a way that is driven by a core aspiration for the Criterion Theatre to be a demonstrable place of opportunity for all with diverse and brilliant plays on stage and inclusive company and membership. Anne-marie Greene Artistic Director
29th March
Over the past 60 years, there have been hundreds of performances at the Criterion's Berkley Road home. Whilst the Theatre's archive has kept a record of these through pictures, reviews and programmes, the one thing we've not been able to capture are the personal memories from those involved in these productions.  In order to bring even more colour to this fantastic archive, we're launching the "Criterion Memories" project. We would like to welcome all performers, back stage crew, members, audiences and visitors to regale us with fantastic tales of Criterion memories to help celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the theatre.  So whether your memory is about a performance by an actor, an interesting backstage story or rain pouring through the roof during a rehearsal, all stories will help bring the archive to life; documenting in one place, the rich history and joy that it has brought to all those who've been involved in its journey. You can find out more about the project, in the first of a series of interviews set to take place over the next few months on our Youtube channel []. Jamie Firth, talks to Criterion President Keith Railton and Chairman Jon Elves about the project and some of their own memories. See all of the interviews as they are updated here. [/../../../news/160] So how can you contribute? The archive is available at the top of this page or at [/../../]. There is a list of things that we are on the hunt for, such as poster artwork, programmes etc which we currently don't have - these can be viewed through the "Contributing" page.  Alternatively, choose the relevant play and select "My Memory" and tell us your tale. You can add photos as well if you have any - these could be of rehearsals, backstage or in the bar! Please try to keep in mind that this is a family theatre; the administrators will be checking all contributions!  We look forward to any contributions and creating an archive which shows all the colour and enjoyment of being involved in a community theatre.
22nd March

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Oct 30th to Nov 6th 2021
Victor Gialanella adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley

It is Halloween season and here is a staging of one of the classic monster stories. This production isn't a rehash of Boris Karloff's Universal Studios version, but a direct adaptation of Mary Shelley's Gothic novel for the stage. Victor Gialanella, the playwright, first brought this version to Broadway in 1981  and his adaptation of this classic tale of horror and suspense details the ill-fated experiments of Dr. Frankenstein as he attempts to fathom the secrets of life and death. Purchasing cadavers from unsavoury grave robbers, he gives life to a creature which is both powerful and terrifying, yet touchingly innocent... but there is a high price to be paid for attempting to play God.

Reviews of the play

"At its core, FRANKENSTEIN has never been horror, but Shakespearian tragedy - the man who knows too much and has too few ethics, the being with too little knowledge but gargantuan feelings without the words to convey them, and the people around them forced to suffer from their poor choices. It's a tale more unsettling than anything else, and... feeling unsettled may be the scariest feeling of all. If you can leave this production of FRANKENSTEIN without having questions in your mind about humanity and responsibility, you haven't been paying attention. FRANKENSTEIN, like Halloween itself, is much more than thrills and chills. See this production, and face your fears." Marakay Rogers, Broadway World 2017.

"Gialanella, just like Shelley, makes Frankenstein's creation the character with the most layers and growth... it's hard to believe that you can actually feel compassion for someone who kills,'s easy to feel a deep sympathy for this lost soul who didn't ask to be born." Gil Benbrook,

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.


EDI Information
In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. 'Frankenstein' by Victor Gialanella has no specific diversity message within its narrative. The play can be cast with complete neutrality on gender and race/ethnicity.


Anniversary Celebrations 2021

Criterion at night

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are still working within a certain level of uncertainty but are gradually moving towards business as usual, so do keep a regular eye here on the website for updates to our activities happening over the next few months. 

February 2021-February 2022 is the 60th anniversary of the Criterion Theatre opening so there will be a number of events celebrating our past and looking to the future.  

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.


Just Finished

Glen Berger
Main House
Aug 28th to Sep 4th
Curated by Mark Gatiss
Criterion On Tour
July 18th
Katy Brand
Main House
Jun 26th to Jul 3rd
© 2021 Criterion Theatre Ltd
Registered UK 01643977 | Registered Charity 1161430