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Coffee Morning
In the Bar and Foyer
4th June from 09:30 to 12:30
In the Bar
22nd June from 20:00 to 21:00
Coffee Morning
In the Bar and Foyer
2nd July from 09:30 to 12:30


  POSTPONEMENT OF ‘MARY STUART’ DIRECTED BY HUGH SORRILL. NEW DATES: SEPTEMBER 3RD-10TH Unfortunately, we have had to postpone the May production of ‘Mary Stuart’ as serious illness and other unforeseeable circumstances have meant that it has been impossible to stage the play at this time. Luckily, we do not have long to wait to see this fabulous production as new dates have been secured from September 3rd to 10th. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes. Those of you who have already booked tickets will be receiving a refund by the end of this week. Please do then book tickets for the new dates. NEXT PRODUCTION: ‘MIDSUMMER’ DIRECTED BY PETE GILLAM. JULY 2ND TO 9TH 2022 Our next production will now be the wonderful ‘Midsummer’ in July. Pitched as a ‘play with music’, this quirky, hilarious and playful production tells the contemporary story of Bob and Helena over one drunken weekend in Edinburgh. The play is a two-hander and stars Chris Firth and Nicol Cortese, who take us along with them on this tale of unexpected love and what you might do if you happen across a big bag of cash in the Scottish capital. Written by renowned playwright David Greig and featuring original songs by Gordon McIntyre (Ballboy), our two stars also sing and play guitar and piano live on stage. An extravaganza not to be missed and perfect Summer watching. Tickets on sale now. CRITERION AT THE LIGHTHORNE FESTIVAL JUNE 7TH-11TH 2022 We are excited to be dipping our toes into the world of drama festivals this year with two Criterion productions at the Lighthorne Festival of One Act Plays from June 7th-11th 2022. First, Gennie Holmes directs ‘Closer to God’ by Anna Jordan, starring Kelly Davidson and Matt Sweatman. We find out about lives lived and lost and intergenerational human connection that can be made through the walls of adjacent flats at the top of a high rise block. Second, we are reprising Act 2 of our January production ‘The Gift’ by Janice Okoh, directed by Chris Ingall - a searing parody of political correctness and misunderstanding in modern multi-cultural Britain. The highest scoring plays of the Lighthorne Festival will then go onto perform at the British All Winners Festival which this year will take place at the Albany Theatre in July. Tickets can be booked from the 1st May at and there are some great season ticket deals for the week including food! Please do come along and support the Criterion on tour. CRITERION MEMBERS PERFORMING IN COVENTRY APRIL 30TH AND MAY 1ST 2022 The talent of the Criterion knows no bounds and I am thrilled that two of our members are performing in high profile productions happening in Coventry this coming weekend. Georgia Kelly is acting in her self-penned play ‘Blood’ which has been selected for the highly prestigious Bitesize 2022 Festival at Warwick Arts Centre on Saturday 30th April at 12:30. Tickets are only £5 - just go to ‘Blood’ draws from the real life San Diego Blood Sisters - their interviews, letters, and one-to-one conversations with founding Sister, Barbara Vick, to tell the story of one of the most significant movements of lesbian AIDS activism. Also, this weekend at 17:30 on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May, Lucy Roslyn is producing her one woman play ‘Showmanship’ as part of the Coventry City of Culture at the Assembly Gardens. ‘Showmanship’ is set in 1935 in Dust Bowl America. As the worst recorded dust storm in history is about to hit, a tinpot circus rolls into town. Fortune-teller Myra Collins is plying her trade, for there is trade to be done. Tickets on sale at CRITERION AND THE EARLSDON FESTIVAL MAY 2ND 2002 On May Day this Monday 2nd May, we are pleased to be part of the first Earlsdon Festival for two years. Alongside pork batches, cakes and coffee, bar and stalls, we will also be hosting a number of creative activities. These include music, youth drama groups, dance and Earlsdon Morris. The box office will be open to get tickets to upcoming shows. This is also an opportunity for us to recruit volunteers to the Criterion, so come along to the New Members stand to find out about all the different ways you can get involved: acting; directing; stage managing; props; costume; lights; sound; set design, paint and build; front of house, bar, social events and much, much more. It's always a great atmosphere so please do come along and join in the fun on Monday. Thank you as always for your continued support of the Criterion Theatre, Anne-marie
26th April
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 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.


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

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.


Coming Soon

Friedrich Schiller adapted by Peter Oswald
Main House
Sep 3rd to 10th

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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