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Update from Artistic Director
12th June

Well, it has been a busy couple of weeks at the Criterion so I have lots to tell you in this Update:

This week has seen the Lighthorne One Act Play Festival where we entered two plays – Closer to God by Anna Jordan and Act 2 of The Gift by Janice Okoh. It was a fabulous experience and testament to a lot of hard work by all involved-thank you to everyone involved. Eleven plays were produced over the week and the atmosphere in the bijou Lighthorne Village Hall was so electric and warm-hearted, and we really showcased what great theatre the Criterion can produce. The adjudicator appeared to agree too. Act 2 of The Gift ended up being overall runner up, pipped to the winning position by only 1 point, but overall achieving 90, a stellar score. And Closer to God came overall 4th, and one of only five plays to score over 80. Not bad for our first outing at Lighthorne and at any drama festival in many years. We will definitely be back next year. We also hope to give the cast and crew of Closer to God an opportunity to stage the production at the Criterion so you can all get the opportunity to see this wonderful play, so look out for information about this in the near future.

Midsummer by Greig/McIntyre-July 2nd to 9th

Anyone who has been in the theatre recently will also have seen the set for our next production Midsummer emerging and perhaps heard the music coming out of the auditorium as the cast rehearse. This features songs by Gordon McIntyre (Ballboy) and tells the tale of Bob and Helena on one life-changing weekend in Edinburgh. This is going to be a real Summer treat and is guaranteed to have you leaving with a smile on your face and joy in your heart. Don’t miss the chance to see Chris Firth and Nicole Cortese doing what they do so well. Get your tickets now at

As a little taster, our production of Midsummer features on a recent podcast Amateur Life and Death developed by the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham . You can hear me talk about my loves, laughs and hopes for the theatre, take people on an audio tour of the Cri and then Chris and Nicol talk about Midsummer.

Mary Stuart by Oswald/Schiller – September 3rd-10th

Tickets are also now on sale for our September production Mary Stuart This epic drama classic tells the tale of a fictional meeting between Elizabeth I and her arch-rival Mary Queen of Scots and is written in beautiful prose verse. Rehearsals start in earnest in July.

Announcement of our Autumn/Winter Productions

I am also really excited to confirm the rest of our 2022 season.

The Haunting by Hugh Janes adapted from Charles Dickens

From October 29th to November 5th we will be staging ‘The Haunting’, directed by Keith Railton. Adapted from a series of classic ghost stories by Charles Dickens, the play is a perfect fare for Halloween. 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 both of their lives. Be prepared for plenty of jump scares and spookiness!

There will be an open reading on Sunday 3rd July at 7.30pm in the Criterion Bar. All those interested in being involved in any way or those who just enjoy hearing a play aloud are welcome. Auditions for the three roles will then take place on Sunday 10th July and Wed 13th July, both at 7.30pm. Further information about the play including casting information can be found at

Alice by Laura Wade

We finish our 2022 season with ‘Alice’ directed by Alan Fenn and running from Dec 10th to 17th. Based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale, Wade's new adaptation breathes fresh life into a much-loved story about rabbit holes, pocket watches and talking caterpillars. Our production will involve a mixed age cast, including a number of roles being undertaken by members of our drama classes. A treat for all the family.

An open reading of the play will take place on Sunday 10th July at 3pm. The casting of the youth parts has already taken place and auditions for adult cast will take place on Friday 15th July at 7:30pm and Saturday 16th July at 1230pm when all those interested in being cast should attend. Further information about the play including casting information can be found at


As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with any queries or suggestions and thank you for your continued support of the Criterion Theatre, 


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