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The Criterion Theatre

Announcing the 2020 Season of Productions

28th July


Glorious by Peter Quilter

January 25th to February 1st

Directed by Anne-marie Greene

In 1940's New York, the performer who everyone wanted to see live was Florence Foster Jenkins, an enthusiastic soprano whose pitch was far from perfect. Known as 'the first lady of the sliding scale', she warbled and screeched her way through the evening to an audience who mostly fell about with laughter. But this delusional and joyously happy woman paid little attention to her critics, instead she was surrounded by a circle of devoted friends who were almost as eccentric as she was. Based upon a true story, the play spins from Florence's charity recitals and extravagant balls, through to her bizarre recording sessions and an ultimate triumph at Carnegie Hall in this hilarious and heart-warming comedy.

Casting: 4W, 2M


The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh: Studio

February 19th to 22nd

Directed by Steve Brown

A viciously funny tale about a writer in a totalitarian state who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of child-murders that are happening in his town. Be prepared to be enthralled and appalled by this play from one of the greatest contemporary story tellers around.

Casting: 2W, 2M


Lovesong by Abi Morgan

March 14th-21st

Directed by Christine Ingall

Lovesong intertwines a couple in their 20s with the same man and woman a lifetime later. Their past and present selves collide in this haunting and beautiful tale of togetherness. All relationships have their ups and downs; the optimism of youth becomes the wisdom of experience. Love is a leap of faith. A truly moving tale guaranteed to pull on your heart strings.

Casting: 2W, 2M


Pressure by David Haig

May 9th-16th

Directed by Bill Butler

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.

Casting: 1W, 5M


Midsummer by David Greig/Gordon McIntyre

July 4th-11th

Directed by Peter Gillam

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 wonderful, comic tale of falling in love when you least expect it. A play where the two actors also play and sing original music in an extravaganza of playfulness, wit, colour, sound and song.

Casting: 1W, 1M


Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller adapted by Peter Oswald

September 5th-12th

Directed by Hugh Sorrill

Schiller's play pits Mary, Queen of Scots against her rival Queen Elizabeth I in their full glory. The meeting never really happened but Schiller's Mary redeems her youthful crimes through an ordeal that lifts her into realms of spiritual serenity, while Elizabeth descends deeper into rage, revenge and deception. Oswald has written this striking new version in a mixture of prose and poetry making for exciting viewing.

Casting: 4W, 10M


The Haunting by Charles Dickens adapted by Hugh Janes

October 17th-24th

Directed by Keith Railton

Adapted for the stage by Hugh Janes from the ghost stories of Charles Dickens, this is a gripping thriller from the literary master of suspense. 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 their lives forever. Be prepared for edge of your seat scariness!

Casting: 1W, 2M


Airswimming by Charlotte Jones: Studio

November 1th-14th

Directed by Deb Relton-Elves

Set in 1920’s England, Airswimming is based on the true story of two women who have been incarcerated in a hospital for the “criminally insane” for having borne illegitimate children. Forgotten by their families and not released until the 1970’s, Dora and Persephone adopt alter-egos, Dorph and Porph, to enact their fantasies and survive the silence of incarceration. By turns very funny and moving, Airswimming reminds us of the forgotten women of these generations and the warm-hearted resilience of the human spirit.

Casting: 2W


Alice by Laura Wade

December 5th-12th

Directed by Alan Fenn

The White Rabbit is late for the Duchess. The Cheshire Cat won't stop grinning. And the Hatter is, well, mad. In the middle of it all is Alice, a young girl with a vivid imagination and a family life that's less than perfect. Follow Alice as she escapes her Sheffield home to find adventure in a topsy-turvy world. Based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale, Alice breathes fresh life into a much-loved story about rabbit holes, pocket watches and talking caterpillars. This much-loved family classic needs no real explanation except that Laura Wade brings you Wonderland as you've never seen it before.

Casting: Multiple, gender neutral casting