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The Criterion 60th Anniversary Year: Update and What You Can Do to Help
21st January

Celebrating the year ahead

2021 marks 60 years since the Criterion Players, a group of local actors, purchased the Victorian chapel in Berkeley Road South and converted it to create the Theatre we know and love, something so much greater than simply a building-a community and a family. We are heartily committed to celebrate this achievement, in this, our Diamond year.  

Of course, last year’s lockdown and the continuing restrictions to public gatherings have seriously impacted on the planned programme for 2021. Our aim has been to be flexible around what we are able to do, enabling us to react easily to the quick-changing context of the COVID situation. While we can set out a planned programme and celebrations as best we can, we know that it may need to change at short notice. At all times, the health and safety of our volunteers and audience lie at the heart of all that we do. 

2021 gives us the opportunity to celebrate our 60th anniversary at a special time for Coventry. During the City of Culture year, the Criterion hopes to be able to present a programme of events that will celebrate its contribution to Earlsdon and the City, through its people and productions that hold a special place in Coventry’s creative development and heritage. 

The show goes on

Because of the current restrictions it is difficult to promise exactly what the Diamond Anniversary programme for 2021 will look like, but we have plenty of ideas including exhibitions, events, interviews and as soon as we are able (and it is safe to do so), a Company Anniversary party and a community social event. We are determined to fulfil as many of these aspirations as possible as we move through the year. 

What can you do to help?

We have also been working hard in the background to build an archive of Criterion history and some of you have already sent in memories based in response to our request last year. Our Anniversary plans, to build on this, include a series of online interviews with members new and old to capture the stories and memories. These will be released through the year and we would like the involvement of as many as people as possible. If you would like to take part in this important project and have memories you would like to share, please do contribute here.

I will, of course, update you as we progress through this year and we are able to confirm further plans. The website will also provide up to date information about the theatre, all upcoming performances and Diamond Jubilee events.

 I sincerely hope that later this year, the theatre will be able to reopen, and we will be together again, able to celebrate our Diamond Jubilee, and get back to putting on our wonderful productions.

 In the meantime, a big thank you to you all for your continued support for our online productions and events, you have helped us survive throughout the last year by supporting our productions, events, and with your generous donations. 

Please stay safe,

Jon Elves, 


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Registered UK 01643977 | Registered Charity 1161430