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Events at the Theatre

Happenings in the bar, the auditorium and elsewhere

Coffee Morning

Join us for a coffee/tea and cake, and a browse through the second hand books.

In the Bar

In the Bar

4th January from 10:30 to 12:00
In the Bar

In the Bar

15th January from 20:00 to 21:00

Touring Production - Tudor Coventry Screening

FILM SCREENING: THE WARS OF THE ROSES, THE ROYAL TAPESTRY AND SHAKESPEARE We are pleased to welcome Tudor Coventry to the Criterion  on Thursday, 16 January 2020 at 7.30pm, when there will be the premiere screening of a film that brings to life some of Coventry’s most fascinating history. In 2018, Tudor Coventry invited TV historian Jonathan Foyle to Coventry's St. Mary's Hall to explain the city's central role in the Wars of the Roses. To illustrate his talk, five Criterion actors read some of Shakespeare's finest speeches, in the presence of the Lord Mayor. The sell-out evening proved so popular that it was repeated; and the Criterion Theatre is delighted to host the premiere screening of the film of the event.   Featuring Criterion actors Cathryn Bowler, Hugh Sorrill, Keith Railton, Helen Withers and  Gareth Withers, it's a fascinating account of a turbulent time in the history of the country, the city, and the remarkable Guildhall tapestry that, for more than 500 years, records it.   Tickets for this event are free, but cannot be booked via the Criterion Box Office. Please register for your tickets online, via Eventbrite, here: https://bit.ly/2OI4QBc [https://2.exchange2010.livemail.co.uk/owa/redir.aspx?C=XmeE-oZM2brZX7Lzv7r7-bwtsVSXHgdGcpzZHIJISMJ-UwLXjo_XCA..&URL=https%3a%2f%2fbit.ly%2f2OI4QBc]   Please do join us for this very special collaboration between the Criterion Theatre and Tudor Coventry.

In the Auditorium

In the Auditorium

16th January from 19:30 to 22:00

Coffee Morning

Join us for a coffee/tea and cake, and a browse through the second hand books.

In the Bar

In the Bar

1st February from 10:30 to 12:00

The Oscars

Strewth! Is it that time of year again already?   The Aus-cars is coming  to the Criterion Theatre on Friday 14th February 2020 at 8:00 p.m. [x-apple-data-detectors://0]   G’day, all you Bruces and Sheilas – Why not come along to the Criterion Theatre's own take on the Oscars, the Aus-Cars.  This year, we will be celebrating all things antipodean.   Come along on the night and join in this truly Australian experience.  There will also be an opportunity to vote on this year's Oscar awards which are as follows:   The Bruce award – best male performance in 2019/20 The Sheila award - best female performance in 2019/20 The Kylie and Jason award for best musical performance in 2019/20 The Joey award – for services to the theatre from our younger members ( aged under 35) The Crocodile Dundee award for backstage services The Dame Edna Everage award for best Australian outfit on the night   During the evening there will be a quiz, raffle and other nonsense, including a rousing rendition of Waltzing Matilda to help us on our way.   Simon and Judy Sharpe will be on the bar to keep you served with cooling beverages, and there will be tucker available on the night.   Entry is free, but this is a fundraising event for the theatre, we hope that you actively will support the evening.   You are actively invited to immerse yourself in the nonsense, and Australian themed fancy dress is welcomed.   So – locate your inner jolly swagman, pack up your didgeridoo, and waltz on down to the billabong to join in the fun on the night.   We hope to see you on Friday 14th February 2020 from 8:00 p.m. [x-apple-data-detectors://1]onwards.

In the Bar

In the Bar

14th February from 20:00 to 23:30
In the Bar

In the Bar

4th March from 20:00 to 21:00

Coffee Morning

Join us for a coffee/tea and cake, and a browse through the second hand books.

In the Bar

In the Bar

7th March from 10:30 to 12:00

Play Reading - Zoom Play Reading - You, Me And Wii By Sue Townsend

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL READINGS This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk YOU, ME AND WII BY SUE TOWNSEND Characters: Vincent: early twenties Sheila: Mid sixties Kerry: thirty five Courtney fourteen Selina forties Mark   From the author of the Adrian Mole series, ‘You, Me and Wii’ is a play set in a council house in a small Leicestershire town. Vincent's skiing on the Wii, Sheila's feeding her great-granddaughter McKenzie, and Kerry's getting on with the ironing. None of them are planning on voting in the election, but when Selina Snow rings the doorbell to canvas, perhaps she can change their minds, or they can change hers. The play was first staged at the Traverse Theatre, in 2010. 'Sue Townsend returns to the theatre on glorious form with a gruesome canvassing comedy' - Whatsonstage.com    

In the Other External

In the Other External

22nd April from 19:30 to 22:00

Club Night - Join Us With A Drink On Zoom For A Virtual Club Night. If You’d Like To Join Us, Please Email Customerexperience@Criteriontheatre.co.uk

In the Bar

In the Bar

24th April from 20:30 to 23:30

Play Reading - Zoom Play Reading - Bloody Wimmin By Lucy Kirkwood

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL READINGS This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk BLOODY WIMMIN BY LUCY KIRKWOOD Characters: Male (5) , Female (10) , Lucy Kirkwood’s dark comedy Bloody Wimmin is a short play staged at the Tricycle, London, in June–July 2010. It’s 1984 and the peace camp at Greenham Common is in full swing. Mother-to-be Helen is torn between her commitment to the cause of nuclear disarmament and her expectant husband back home. Twenty-five years later and her now adult son, James, is an environmental activist, railing against what he perceives as sexual exploitation in the way the media is covering their protests.

In the Other External

In the Other External

29th April from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading - Edith In The Beginning By Karen Forbes

In the Other External

In the Other External

13th May from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading - Arms And The Man By George Bernard Shaw

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk ARMS AND THE MAN BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW Characters: 4F 3M One of Shaw’s most delightful comedies—Raina, a young woman with romantic notions of war and an idealized view of her soldier fiancé, is surprised one night by a Swiss mercenary soldier seeking refuge in her bedchamber. The pragmatic Captain Bluntschli proceeds to puncture all of Raina’s illusions about love, heroism, and class. In a second duel of sex, Louka, Raina’s maid, uses her wiles in her attempt to gain power. Optimistic, farcical, absurd, and teeming with sexual energy, Arms and the Man has Shaw inverting the devices of melodrama to glorious effect. The script can be downloaded from www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3618 [http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3618] 

In the Other External

In the Other External

20th May from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading - Nightingales Part One By Andrew Sharpe

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk NIGHTINGALES PART ONE AND TWO BY ANDREW SHARPE Characters: 3F, 2M This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of a real workshopping exercise around a developing script. Andrew Sharpe who is well known to us within the Company both backstage and in acting roles is also a professional playwright. He has been working on the Nightingales script for some time, and some members of our company have already been involved in reading drafts of different sections. For this reading, Andrew has brought together five acts and would really like to engage the help of the Company in hearing it read aloud and also getting our views and comments so that he can further work on the play. In order to give Andrew sufficient feedback, we have decided the stage the reading over two consecutive nights, splitting the play into 2 parts. You are welcome to join for both or only one of the readings.  

In the Other External

In the Other External

27th May from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading - Nightingales Part Two By Andrew Sharpe

HE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk NIGHTINGALES PART ONE AND TWO BY ANDREW SHARPE Characters: 3F, 2M This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of a real workshopping exercise around a developing script. Andrew Sharpe who is well known to us within the Company both backstage and in acting roles is also a professional playwright. He has been working on the Nightingales script for some time, and some members of our company have already been involved in reading drafts of different sections. For this reading, Andrew has brought together five acts and would really like to engage the help of the Company in hearing it read aloud and also getting our views and comments so that he can further work on the play. In order to give Andrew sufficient feedback, we have decided the stage the reading over two consecutive nights, splitting the play into 2 parts. You are welcome to join for both or only one of the readings.  

In the Other External

In the Other External

28th May from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading - Captain Corelli's Mandolin By Louis De Bernieres Adapted By Rona Munro

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk

In the Other External

In the Other External

10th June from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading - Imagination Plays

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk

In the Other External

In the Other External

17th June from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading - She Stoops To Conquer By Oliver Goldsmith

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk

In the Other External

In the Other External

24th June from 19:30 to 22:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading: 'This Is A Chair' By Caryl Churchill And 'The Village Church' By Tamara Von Werthern

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk

In the Other External

In the Other External

8th July from 19:30 to 21:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading: 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' By Arthur Conan Doyle Adapted By Steven Canny And John Nicholson

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk

In the Other External

In the Other External

15th July from 19:30 to 21:00

Play Reading - Virtual Play Reading: '1984' By George Orwell Adapted By Robert Icke And Duncan Macmillan

THE CRITERION IN LOCKDOWN: VIRTUAL PLAY READING This will run just like an open reading we would hold in the bar, with parts circulating around those who would like to read, and with people who would rather not read a part being very welcome to come along and just listen to the play. It will run through a dedicated Zoom link. If you would like to be involved then please email Anne-marie Greene at artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk

In the Other External

In the Other External

22nd July from 19:30 to 21:00

Audition - Queers: Eight Monologues

QUEERS: EIGHT MONOLOGUES: INFORMATION AND AUDITION NOTICE In the last week of September/first week of October (exact date to be confirmed): we will be producing _Queers-Eight Monologues_ directed by Gennie Holmes. This is a wonderful collection of beautifully-written monologues, all by different writers, which celebrates a century of evolving social attitudes and political milestones in British LGBTQI+ history, as seen through the eyes of eight individuals. They were curated by Mark Gatiss and broadcast on BBC Four in 2017 and also staged at The Old Vic in London. Poignant and personal, funny, tragic and riotous, these eight monologues for male and female performers cover major events – such as the Wolfenden Report of 1957, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the debate over the age of consent – through deeply affecting and personal rites-of-passage stories. The monologues will be rehearsed under social distancing conditions and the either or both produced live on stage under social distancing or broadcast online The play is for 8 actors. Flexible casting re genders, age and race/ethnicity. Auditions will take place by Zoom on Wednesday August 12th from 8pm and Sunday August 16th from 2pm. Auditions are open to all. If you would like to book an audition slot, and get further information about the plays and audition pieces, please contact artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk 

In the Other External

In the Other External

12th August from 20:00 to 22:00

Audition - Queers: Eight Monologues

QUEERS: EIGHT MONOLOGUES: INFORMATION AND AUDITION NOTICE In the last week of September/first week of October (exact date to be confirmed): we will be producing _Queers-Eight Monologues_ directed by Gennie Holmes. This is a wonderful collection of beautifully-written monologues, all by different writers, which celebrates a century of evolving social attitudes and political milestones in British LGBTQI+ history, as seen through the eyes of eight individuals. They were curated by Mark Gatiss and broadcast on BBC Four in 2017 and also staged at The Old Vic in London. Poignant and personal, funny, tragic and riotous, these eight monologues for male and female performers cover major events – such as the Wolfenden Report of 1957, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the debate over the age of consent – through deeply affecting and personal rites-of-passage stories. The monologues will be rehearsed under social distancing conditions and the either or both produced live on stage under social distancing or broadcast online The play is for 8 actors. Flexible casting re genders, age and race/ethnicity. Auditions will take place by Zoom on Wednesday August 12th from 8pm and Sunday August 16th from 2pm. Auditions are open to all. If you would like to book an audition slot, and get further information about the plays and audition pieces, please contact artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk 

In the Other External

In the Other External

16th August from 14:00 to 17:00

Online Performance - 'Pressure' By David Haig

THIS PERFORMANCE IS NOW SOLD OUT We are thrilled to announce the Criterion Theatre’s first online production, a performed reading of ‘Pressure’, by David Haig, which will take place next Friday 28th August 2020 at 7:30pm. The cast of ‘Pressure’ were just about to start rehearsing when lockdown began and it was so disappointing to have to postpone the planned May production. However in true Criterion spirit, the director Bill Butler and his team have continued to work on the production. For the last 8 weeks using Zoom, working in their own home spaces with domestic technology, the team has been rehearsing a performed reading of this exciting play, ready to produce a one-time only online performance. At 7:30pm on Friday August 28th the 12 strong team will perform the play live through Zoom, complete with sound effects and visuals. This is a first for the Criterion, and as with all live theatre events, unexpected things may happen! Please do come along and join us for some wonderful live theatre. _Pressure is an intense real-life thriller centred around the most important weather forecast in the history of warfare. It is June 1944. One man's decision is about to change the course of history. Everything is in place for the biggest invasion ever known in Europe - D-Day. One last crucial question remains: will the weather be right on the day? Problematically there are two opposing forecasts. The decision made here will not only seal the fates of thousands of men, but could win or lose the entire war. An extraordinary and little-known true story, David Haig's play thrillingly explores the responsibilities of leadership, the challenges of prophecy and the personal toll of taking a stand._ After purchasing a ticket, you will receive a private Zoom link the day before the performance, along with all the necessary instructions. We suggest that you buy an appropriate number of tickets for the people watching. This performance of ‘Pressure’ is an amateur production by arrangement with Nick Hern Books. It is a one-time only performance and recording or downloading is strictly prohibited under the terms of the online performance licence conditions.

In the Comfort Of Your Home

In the Comfort Of Your Home

28th August from 19:30 to 22:00

Online Performance - Promises Auction

THE BIDDING IS OPEN! Browse the Promises Catalogue [/../../../promises/lots] – over 40 fabulous Lots already Promised! The Grand Criterion Promises Auction 2020 is now officially open for bidding and we need your bids on our lovely Lots so we can raise funds to help keep us going into 2021. On-line bidding will close at 6pm on Friday the 13th  November and re-open for live bids from 7.30pm later that evening when you can join a Zoom call for the Grand Finale, hosted by our Auctioneer for the evening, Chris Firth. Contact publicity@criteriontheatre.co.uk to reserve your place and receive a Zoom link. HOW CAN I MAKE A BID? To place a bid e-mail fundraising@criteriontheatre.co.uk quoting the Lot number and name of the Lot telling us the amount you are prepared to pay. The highest bid at any given time for each Lot will be updated on a daily basis so you can see if you need to up your Bid. If you prefer you can call us too on 07930 543938 Due to current circumstances some Promises will not be able to be delivered or fulfilled until after current social distancing guidelines are relaxed. KEEEEEEEEP PROMISING! _You can still make a Promise: _Make your Promise today [/../../../promises/register] You might be good at making or growing something special or perhaps you have a skill you can share? Perhaps you know someone who might donate a night out or a special experience? Maybe you have an item of value you would be pleased to donate? Find out more by clicking here [/../../../promises]. Once we have reached a manageable number of Lots we will close the catalogue

In the Comfort Of Your Home

In the Comfort Of Your Home

13th November from 19:30 to 22:00

60Th Anniversary Ideas Meeting

Jon Elves, Chair of the theatre is hosting a meeting to share ideas about events and activities for the 60th anniversary year. All welcome.  Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81155913568?pwd=MjRhMHdMVUttQnJSRlB1ZHdPUUJDdz09   Meeting ID: 811 5591 3568 Passcode: 115385

In the Comfort Of Your Home

In the Comfort Of Your Home

16th November from 19:30 to 21:00

Online Performance - Criterion Christmas Mashup

We are all so sad to be missing out on our usual Christmas Carols ‘Shout-Along’ this year. Instead, we bring you the Criterion Christmas Mashup! This is a video collection of sketches, poems, songs, jokes and more, along with traditional carols and Christmas songs to sing along with, which has been produced by Criterion members in their own homes and will be shared as a YouTube Live Premiere event on Monday 21st December at 7:30 pm by using this link https://youtu.be/b_imiFo_SRw  This will be a free-of-charge event. This is accompanied by a Zoom social, the link for which is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88421907934  The idea is that the Zoom room will be opened from 7:15pm so we can all get to share the experience of watching the video together. We will then all have the Zoom social open alongside a web browser to watch the Mashup video from 7:30pm. We can comment, applaud and sing along together. Then we can all meet up afterwards to raise a toast in the virtual Criterion bar and have a chat. Or you can just come along afterwards and join in. The video will be available on our YouTube channel afterwards if you want to watch again.  

In the Comfort Of Your Home

In the Comfort Of Your Home

21st December from 19:30 to 21:30
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