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In the Bar
10th July from 15:00 to 17:00
In the Bar
10th July from 19:30 to 22:00
In the Bar
13th July from 19:30 to 21:00
In the Bar and Foyer
15th July from 19:30 to 21:00
In the Bar and Foyer
16th July from 12:30 to 13:30
The Elevate Festival celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Coventry Haven Women's Aid at The Criterion Theatre.   Join us for a line up of incredible acts, food & craft stalls, and prize draws, all raising funds for the charity and commemorating this milestone as they continue their work supporting women across the city.   Line up:   Bar Pandora Ace Ambrose Paradise of the Titans Taylor-Louise World Song   More to be announced...   There will be food and craft stalls in the car park and prize draws.   Tickets are £10 advance from the Criterion Box Office [/../../../seats/7705] and £12 on the door.   The theatre bar will be open and tickets will allow entry to the main auditorium.    
In the Auditorium and Bar
16th July from 17:00 to 23:30
17TH – 23RD JULY 2022 ALBANY THEATRE COVENTRY  The National Drama Festival is the place to see the cream of British amateur theatre. Groups from across the country (and abroad), bring their best work in friendly competition with the aim of winning awards and becoming national champions. It is one of the prestige annual events in this country’s amateur theatre calendar. It takes place every July and in 2022 is returning to the Albany Theatre, Coventry – a venue where it successfully ran for the first time in 2021. The Festival takes place over seven nights and is divided into three sections – Youth, One-Act and Full-Length plays. Get your tickets for this fabulous week of drama at  SUNDAY EVENING (STARTING AT 7PM) 'Twinkle' by Philip Meeks performed by Talisman Theatre (A Full Length play) [] MONDAY EVENING (STARTING AT 7PM) 'Teechers' by John Godber performed by Limitless Academy of Performing Arts (A One Act play) [] 'Pinteresque' by Roger Gowland performed by Phoenix Players (A One Act play) [] 'Housebound' by Simon Maudsley performed by Abbey Players (A One Act play) [] TUESDAY EVENING (STARTING AT 7PM) 'Constellations' by Nick Payne performed by Peterborough Mask Theatre (A Full Length play) [] WEDNESDAY EVENING (STARTING AT 7PM) 'Brook for Nothing' by Paul Adam Levy performed by Limitless Academy of Performing Arts (A One Act Youth play) [] 'The Devil and The Dove' by Piers Burnell performed by HAODS (Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (A One Act play) [] 'The Road Less Travelled' by Janet Bolam perfomed by Oxford Theatre Guild [] THURSDAY EVENING (STARTING AT 7PM) 'Love You More' by Gill Cowen performed by Hen's Teeth Productions (A One Act Play) [] 'Nightwalking' by Frank Canino performed by Saint Monica's Players (A One Act Play) [] 'Fourteen' by Alice Gerstenberg performed by Lucerne World Theatre Co. (A One Act play) [] FRIDAY EVENING (STARTING AT 7PM) 'Bad Eggs' by Dani Robin performed by Guernsey ADOC (A One Act Play) [] 'Lifeboat' (abridged) by Nicola McCartney performed by Spiral Curtain (A One Act Play) [] 'The Gift' by Janice Okoh (Act 2) performed by Criterion Theatre (A One Act play) [] SATURDAY AFTERNOON (A ONE ACT PLAY AT 4:30PM INCLUDED WITHIN THE SATURDAY EVENING TICKET AND THE CONFERENCE TICKET) 'Every Brilliant Thing' by Duncan MacMillan with Jonny Donahoe performed by The Thursday Night Project (A One Act play) [] SATURDAY EVENING (STARTING AT 7PM) 'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde performed by Mutley & Minques (A Full Length Play) []
In the Other External
22nd July from 19:00 to 22:30
SATURDAY 23RD JULY 2022 – ALBANY THEATRE, COVENTRY FOR 2022 THE NATIONAL DRAMA CONFERENCE WILL FOCUS ON INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY IN BRITISH AMATEUR THEATRE. IT IS A MUST-ATTEND EVENT FOR ANYONE WHO HAS THE FUTURE OF THEATRE IN THE BRITISH ISLES AT HEART. It will consider the vital question of why our shared passion for theatrical performance is becoming more and more markedly unrepresentative of the countries and communities in which we live and perform. More importantly still, the one-day Conference will consider what can be done to effect change, and it will hear from practitioners from the worlds of professional and amateur theatre who have already made a difference. It is open to all – individuals, theatre groups, Festival organisers and any interested parties – and will be held in the Albany Theatre Studio in Coventry on Saturday July 23, 2022 – the concluding day of this year’s NDFA National Drama Festival which is taking place in the Albany’s Main House. The Conference will be jointly curated by _Penny Amis, Chair of the Side By Side Theatre Company of Leamington Spa_, and _Anne-marie Greene, who is professor of Diversity and Work at the University of York as well as being Artistic Director of the Criterion Theatre, Coventry_, which has put Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the heart of everything they do. The Conference is supported by the _Royal Shakespeare Theatre of Stratford-on-Avon_ and their Participation Producer, Ian Wainwright, will be attending. Actors involved in recent Criterion productions of  _Queers – The Monologues_, curated by Mark Gatiss, and _The Gift_, by Janice Okoh, have also been invited to take part. Conference tickets, priced £12 each are available from the Albany Theatre [] Attendees are requested to provide their own refreshments and lunch.
In the Other External
23rd July from 09:00 to 16:00
Coffee Morning
In the Bar and Foyer
6th August from 09:30 to 12:30
Coffee Morning
In the Bar and Foyer
3rd September from 09:30 to 12:30


Well, it has been a busy couple of weeks at the Criterion so I have lots to tell you in this Update: * CRITERION SUCCESS AT THE LIGHTHORNE ONE ACT PLAY FESTIVAL This week has seen the Lighthorne One Act Play Festival where we entered two plays – Closer to God by Anna Jordan and Act 2 of The Gift by Janice Okoh. It was a fabulous experience and testament to a lot of hard work by all involved-thank you to everyone involved. Eleven plays were produced over the week and the atmosphere in the bijou Lighthorne Village Hall was so electric and warm-hearted, and we really showcased what great theatre the Criterion can produce. The adjudicator appeared to agree too. Act 2 of The Gift ended up being overall runner up, pipped to the winning position by only 1 point, but overall achieving 90, a stellar score. And Closer to God came overall 4th, and one of only five plays to score over 80. Not bad for our first outing at Lighthorne and at any drama festival in many years. We will definitely be back next year. We also hope to give the cast and crew of Closer to God an opportunity to stage the production at the Criterion so you can all get the opportunity to see this wonderful play, so look out for information about this in the near future. MIDSUMMER BY GREIG/MCINTYRE-JULY 2ND TO 9TH Anyone who has been in the theatre recently will also have seen the set for our next production Midsummer emerging and perhaps heard the music coming out of the auditorium as the cast rehearse. This features songs by Gordon McIntyre (Ballboy) and tells the tale of Bob and Helena on one life-changing weekend in Edinburgh. This is going to be a real Summer treat and is guaranteed to have you leaving with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. Don’t miss the chance to see Chris Firth and Nicole Cortese doing what they do so well. Get your tickets now at [/../../tickets] As a little taster, our production of Midsummer features on a recent podcast Amateur Life and Death developed by the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham . You can hear me talk about my loves, laughs and hopes for the theatre, take people on an audio tour of the Cri and then Chris and Nicol talk about Midsummer. MARY STUART BY OSWALD/SCHILLER – SEPTEMBER 3RD-10TH Tickets are also now on sale for our September production Mary Stuart [/../../tickets]. This epic drama classic tells the tale of a fictional meeting between Elizabeth I and her arch-rival Mary Queen of Scots and is written in beautiful prose verse. Rehearsals start in earnest in July. ANNOUNCEMENT OF OUR AUTUMN/WINTER PRODUCTIONS I am also really excited to confirm the rest of our 2022 season. _The Haunting by Hugh Janes adapted from Charles Dickens_ From October 29th to November 5th we will be staging ‘The Haunting’, directed by Keith Railton. Adapted from a series of classic ghost stories by Charles Dickens, the play is a perfect fare for Halloween. In an ancient, crumbling mansion, sheltering from the howling winds that tear across the surrounding desolate moorland, two men stumble across a dark and terrifying secret that will change both of their lives. Be prepared for plenty of jump scares and spookiness! There will be an open reading on Sunday 3rd July at 7.30pm in the Criterion Bar. All those interested in being involved in any way or those who just enjoy hearing a play aloud are welcome. Auditions for the three roles will then take place on Sunday 10th July and Wed 13th July, both at 7.30pm. Further information about the play including casting information can be found at [/../../production/524] _Alice by Laura Wade_ We finish our 2022 season with ‘Alice’ directed by Alan Fenn and running from Dec 10th to 17th. Based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale, Wade's new adaptation breathes fresh life into a much-loved story about rabbit holes, pocket watches and talking caterpillars. Our production will involve a mixed age cast, including a number of roles being undertaken by members of our drama classes. A treat for all the family. An open reading of the play will take place on Sunday 10th July at 3pm. The casting of the youth parts has already taken place and auditions for adult cast will take place on Friday 15th July at 7:30pm and Saturday 16th July at 1230pm when all those interested in being cast should attend. Further information about the play including casting information can be found at [/../../production/525]   As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with any queries or suggestions and thank you for your continued support of the Criterion Theatre,  Anne-marie
12th June
Hello everyone, With the removal of pretty much all Covid restrictions many of us are wondering where we go from here and how we protect ourselves and visitors to the theatre.  Our top priority, as always, is the wellbeing of our members, volunteers, audience, casts and crews, and we will work towards normality together; supportively and safely. With this in mind, as we move forward we would ask that everybody follow our suggested Covid Code of Conduct.  * If you feel suspect/know you have Covid then please do not come to the theatre.  * Wear a mask in the building if you are feeling unwell, even if you have tested negative * Wear a mask in the building if you live with or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. * Use the hand sanitisers provided and regularly wash your hands. * If you are going to be in a confined space with someone or with them for a long period (more than 30 minutes) always discuss with them whether you should wear masks * Try and maintain a reasonable degree of social distancing to reduce risk * Open windows or doors where possible to increase circulation of air * Respect other people's decisions as to mask wearing * Get fully vaccinated to provide the best protection * Follow the Government guidance * Respect others choices * If it doesn’t feel safe, don’t do it. We need to manage Covid-19 as we would the flu, or any other similar transmittable infection, through exercising personal responsibility. However, the theatre will continue to draw on government and public health guidance and we must all recognise the importance of being ready to respond to any emergent variants and act quickly where required to. The Board will continue to review and respond to the Covid-19 risks and reserve the right to re-introduce any control measures in the interest of safety if infection rates rise significantly or government advice changes. We all need to work together to ensure our spaces and activities undertaken in the theatre, whether as cast, crew, FOH or audience members are safe ,by adhering to the principles laid out in the Covid code of conduct. Our cleaning regimes, sanitiser stations, available ventilation and access to Face coverings will remain in place. We are, and will always be, incredibly grateful for the resilience you have shown throughout the pandemic, please continue to help support us as we move forward.   Tickets are now on sale for upcoming productions on our website.   I also want to mention our brand new Can Recycling Bank in the car park. Please feel free to recycle your cans and help the theatre at the same time! We receive a small payment for our recycling efforts so it’s a win, win situation!   Finally, I want to mention that Simon Sharpe, our hard working Secretary, has decided to lighten his load and step down as Head of Set building. Simon has handed over the mantle to Mandy Sutton, who has kindly volunteered to take over. I would like to pass on our deep felt thanks to Simon for his fantastic contribution in creating such a great set building team, building some truly remarkable sets, and setting the standards and quality we have become so used to. I would also like to officially welcome Mandy to the role, who I know will carry on the great work, bring her own style and ideas, and make the role her own. We are in good hands.     Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or thoughts via; , See you soon,   Jon
10th April
It is with great sadness we report the passing of Geof Eames, a founder member of the Criterion Players in 1955 and a much loved and highly respected member of the Criterion family.   We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Geof, not only for the key role he played in the creation of the Theatre but also for his involvement in a wide range of theatre activities. He will be remembered, not only as a wonderfully entertaining actor, but also a someone who played key roles in the set building and front of house teams.   Many will remember him for his legendary Front of House Manager ‘performances’ as he entertained the audience before 'curtain up' on a first night. He provided a regular, reassuring presence, impeccably dressed and warmly welcoming to audiences, supporting and encouraging to company members and always contributing positively to the theatre he was so proud of.   Geof was a friendly, smiling, enthusiastic face at the theatre, willing to help out with anything, and although he has been absent through illness for a while now, we will all feel his loss very keenly.   All of our sympathy, love and thoughts are with Phyllis and the family at this very sad time.
8th February
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



A wonderful, comic tale of falling in love when you least expect it.

Jul 2nd to 9th 2022
David Greig & Gordon McIntyre

“…a delightfully warm, funny, sad, crazily plausible shaggy dog tale of a rom-com. It felt good to be part of it.” Nick Le Mesurier, Leamington Courier. 

"A pitch perfect, comically choreographed, unforgettable night" Barbara Goulden,

A midsummer weekend in Edinburgh. It's raining. Bob's a failing car salesman on the fringes of the city's underworld. Helena's a high-powered divorce lawyer with a taste for other people's husbands. She's totally out of his league; he's not her type at all. They absolutely should not sleep together. Which is, of course, why they do. A play where the two actors also play and sing original music in an extravaganza of playfulness, wit, colour, sound and song.

This play contains some adult themes and brief flashing nightclub lights. 


EDI Assessment

In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. 'Midsummer' by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre has no central diversity message. It can be cast completely neutrally of race/ethnicity. The central story means that the characters should be ideally be playing ages around 30s/40s. The play is written for a heterosexual couple but there could be flexibility around this. 

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

Friedrich Schiller adapted by Peter Oswald
Main House
Sep 3rd to 10th
Charles Dickens adapted by Hugh Janes
Main House
Oct 29th to Nov 5th
Laura Wade
Main House
Dec 10th to 17th

Just Finished

Jim Cartwight
Main House
Mar 26th to Apr 2nd
Janice Okoh
Main House
Feb 14th to 19th
Lucy Kirkwood
Main House
November 17th
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