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Criterion Theatre


In the Bar
23rd June from 19:00 to 21:30
In the Auditorium and Bar
30th June from 19:00 to 21:30
In the Auditorium and Bar
2nd July from 19:00 to 21:30
Coffee Morning - Criterion coffee morning
In the Bar and Foyer
6th July from 10:30 to 12:30
Touring Production - PUSH - Live music
In the Auditorium and Bar
20th July from 19:30 to 22:00
“If you follow someone down a path you don’t recognise, you risk not being able to find your way back”.  When Ouida was a child her father sleepwalked out of the house... never to return. Ouida suspected her imaginary friend "Bert" led him astray, but her family insisted he'd abandoned them and she must give up all notions of imaginary things. Years later Ouida is a respected therapist, debunking the irrational and fantastic... But what will you believe? This beautiful, darkly comic story about magic versus cynicism leaves audiences charmed – and just a little bit spooked.  Boondog Theatre (Lucy Roslyn/Jamie Firth) return to the Criterion Theatre on their way to the Edinburgh Festival with their latest offfering. Lucy's previous one act shows, including "Goody!", "Showmanship", and "Orlando" have received rave reviews when performed at the Criterion, with "Orlando" also being included in the "Brits on Broadway" showcase in New York (2023).   
In the Auditorium and Bar
26th July from 19:30 to 21:00
Touring Production - "Piskie" by Boondog Theatre
In the Auditorium and Bar
27th July from 19:30 to 21:00
Coffee Morning - Criterion coffee morning
In the Bar and Foyer
3rd August from 10:30 to 12:30
Members - AGM
In the Auditorium and Bar
17th July from 19:30 to 22:00


Hi all, Well, it’s all hands on Deck at the moment! As usual, there is a lot going on, so I thought it a good time to give a quick overview of all that is happening. A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to welcome the Deputy Mayor to the theatre for the official launch of ‘Who turned out the lights?’, the new audio book from the creative writing team at the Resource Centre for the Blind. I am very proud of the Theatres relationship and work with the Resource Centre, and this was a wonderful evening to launch this important collaboration that has taken a lot of hard work, creative talent, and effort to achieve. The pieces, written by the creative writing team at the centre led by the lovely Jessica Eastman, voiced by three experienced Criterion actors under the direction of our own Richard Warren, and recorded by Media Mania, is the first of what we hope will be several collaborations between us all. Further details are on the Criterion website under ‘News’ or on the Resource centre website: Who Turned Out The Lights | Coventry Resource Centre For The Blind ( [] Our fantastic Customer Experience team and volunteers are busy preparing for May Day, with which we have timed the Springboard Festival week. May Day is always a good day for the theatre, and we will have all the usual events happening around the building, as well as showcasing and activities for Springboard. Obviously, this means a lot of work for all our members but especially the Customer experience team. There has never been a better opportunity to get involved and be a part of something special. Please do come along and support us or volunteer to help staff in what will be a very busy week. This is the second Springboard festival, building on last year’s groundbreaking event, 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, it looks to be a truly exciting and interesting week. The hard work and effort that goes into the planning, scheduling and delivery of this event is immense and I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has worked so hard. I would ask you all to support us by coming to see us one evening (or them all!) It promises to be very special. Tickets are available online now, along with details of each evening’s events.  Talking of our hard-working Customer experience team, they have gone through some changes just recently, with Natalie Harrat having to step down from running the box office, as she and her family are relocating out of Coventry. Natalie has been a longstanding member of the theatre, previously sitting on the board as Finance Director, appearing in several shows and being a valued member of the Customer Experience team. On behalf of the board and the entire theatre I would like to say thank you to Natalie, you will be sorely missed. I would also like to thank Emma Padfield for stepping into Natalie's role and Helen McGowan for picking up the cleaning rota. I’ll mention it again…The Customer experience team are always looking for willing volunteers to help, many hands make light work, if you think you could support us now or in the future please do get in touch. You may have noticed our theatre looking a little better after some work to the frontage. This is the first stage, timed for May Day and the Springboard Festival, to improve the look of our theatre. You will see the original brickwork to the front has been revealed, repointed, and the woodwork repaired and painted. This has been completed in record time to hit our target and I must give a big thanks to Barabara Sowerby for being the driving force and to everyone involved with this achievement. This is not only the start of the work on the frontage, we are not finished yet,  but also some other major improvements around the place and is a small part of what has and is going on behind the scenes. I will be updating in detail on development, on a more regular basis, as we move forward.  Finally, I would like to say thank you to everyone who is working so hard in and around the theatre in so many areas. It really is impossible to mention by name everyone who is going above and beyond to keep our wonderful theatre moving forward. You make the theatre the place it is. You know who you are, thank you all. I hope to see you all soon, and please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or suggestions,  Regards,   Jon, April 28th 2024
29th April

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The Homecoming

Jun 22nd to 29th 2024
Harold Pinter

Teddy has had no contact with his family for several years and returns to his childhood home, bringing with him his wife, Ruth. How will they react to him after all this time and what impact will he have on the struggle for supremacy in this toxic, all-male stronghold? And Ruth? How will she deal with the sexist attitudes and expectations of her in-laws when she is longing for the freedom of her past?

The play revisits some of Pinter’s well-known themes of intrusion, power, memory and non-conformity. The dialogue is superbly crafted and, as in life, what we hear merely suggests underlying thoughts or feelings. The role of the onlooker is to piece together the clues and to consider what might be the truth. The action is at times aggressive, yet darkly comic and the play’s ending will certainly provoke debate.

The Homecoming was premiered in London in 1965. On its transfer to Broadway, it won 4 Tony awards including that for Best Play, establishing a worldwide reputation for Pinter as one of the foremost playwrights of the 20th Century. In 2005, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, 3 years before his death. This play has been frequently revived in this country and across the world. Its relevance remains universal.

The Criterion production of The Homecoming will be of particular interest to Theatre Studies and English Literature students, but not be suitable for young children.

Reviews of the Play

"What to make of it in our post #MeToo age?...captures how fear, awe and neediness lie at the heart of misogyny." Arifa Akbar, The Guardian.

"There is a direct line to draw from the world of this play to the online toxic masculinity of today... This is a story about the impossibility of escaping your past, or your nature" Nick Curtis The Evening Standard.

EDI Assessment

In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. This play deals with themes of misogyny, toxic masculinity and patriarchal control at the heart of a family. Set as a period piece in 1960s London, the play uses anachronistic language and portrays attitudes that were prevalent at the time. It can be cast completely neutrally on race/ethnicity. For the story narrative, playing genders are specified.

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

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

Main House
May 4th to 11th
Kate Bonna and Richard Marsh
Main House
Mar 16th to 23rd
Dawn King
Studio in the Auditorium
Jan 10th to 13th
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