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
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
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.
The reading will be run using Zoom so please contact Lucy Hayton
on email@example.com if you would like the URL link for the
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 firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can do some prior arranging of
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
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
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
Thanks to Dik Thacker for technical support and to Rod Wilkinson for
getting us involved.
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
John Ruscoe about his time at the theatre, including his fondest
productions, and the balance involved in producing high-quality
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
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
email@example.com. 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.
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 [https://youtu.be/fl7uKCkZR0Y]. 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 www.criteriontheatre.co.uk/archive [/../../]. 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
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