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AUDITION DETAILS Please ensure that you have registered and selected audition slots by completing the Registration Form at https://forms.gle/VHPVTiBn296av8xt9  All music and dialogue extracts are available to download as PDFs at the following link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1M3-UkI6NAC2mtLnVnuSnWgJQeUY9ia1f?usp=sharing INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLAY Our production will run from 17th-24th June 2023. Set in 19th century London, Sweeney Todd, an escaped convict once known as Benjamin Barker is back in Fleet Street and resumes his barbershop trade. He is determined to take revenge on the corrupt Judge Turpin who had him sent away 15 years earlier on false charges. Known as a “musical thriller”, this exciting production has it all. It is a story of vengeance, injustice and inequality; a chilling horror story which is both deadly funny and genuinely tragic. OUR ARTISTIC VISION Our vision for the production is to capture the bleak times of London life in the 19th century by creating a dark and atmospheric atmosphere. The set will be minimal, with a focus on the characters and their emotional and psychological depths and the theatrical/melodrama of the piece.   On the character notes, we have indicated where specific playing genders are called for, however some characters can be cast gender-neutrally. All characters will be cast completely neutrally with regards to race and ethnicity. At the Criterion we are absolutely committed to a core aspiration to be a demonstrable place of opportunity for all, with diverse and brilliant plays on stage and inclusive company and membership. Please see our policies on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion [/../../../about/edi]. THE AUDITION PROCESS The auditions will be led by the Musical Director Liam Walker and Production Director Debra Relton-Elves. Anne-marie Greene, Artistic Director of the Criterion Theatre will also be in attendance. At the audition, we will expect you to sing the selected musical extract and perform the selected dialogue extract for the role you have selected. We want this to be a supportive and enjoyable experience, allowing you to show us the best of your ability in a short time slot. We look forward to meeting you at the auditions.  Auditions will take place on: Sunday 20th November 2022 at 2pm at the Criterion Theatre, Berkeley Road, Earlsdon, CV5 6EF. Thursday 24th November 2022 at 7.30pm at 35 Warwick Avenue, Coventry, CV5 6DJ. with call backs on Sunday 24th November 2022 at 2pm at the Criterion Theatre, Berkeley Road, Earlsdon, CV5 6EF. If you have trouble finding an available slot on the Registration Form, please contact us at productions@criteriontheatre.co.uk.  Looking forward to meeting you Deb, Liam and Anne-marie.
In the Auditorium
27th November from 14:00 to 16:00
Coffee Morning
In the Bar and Foyer
3rd December from 10:30 to 12:30
In the Bar
25th January from 20:00 to 21:00
One of the unexpected joys of lockdown was the Zoom play-reading circle organised by the Criterion theatre in Coventry, transporting us to different worlds, in a diverse and often distant company of theatre lovers.  Some led to productions, including 'The Gift' early this year and 'The Welkin' scheduled for 2023. 'Maryland' was performed on-line. It also meant that Criterion contacts from around the country could join in without having to brave the Coventry ring road. And enjoy a glass or two. The readings are free to attend (although of course we pay for the rights) and but we think it’s important to broaden our horizons and build on that earlier good work. So, as the nights draw in, why not come and escape from it all? You can read a part, stage directions or just sit back and listen -  it’s totally up to you.  If you would like to read please email lucyhayton@hotmail.com and include your name, approximate age and ethnicity so we can allocate parts as appropriately as possible (although be prepared to read anything!). Below is the list of play readings which we hope you’ll find interesting. Hope to see you then. And please do spread the word, all are welcome.   1st December 2022 - 8pm - The Birds - Conor McPherson  [https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/plays-to-perform/the-birds-stage-version] A suspenseful, atmospheric adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's enthralling short story.   Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUld-qorj4vHN38zJd5IFU-zWM2Q_C6L8vW  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  26th January 2023 - 8pm - Favour - Ambreen Razia  [https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/plays-to-perform/favour] Ambreen Razia's play Favour is a touching and hopeful family drama about a working-class Muslim family, tackling duty, addiction and the challenge of pulling yourself back together after it all falls apart. It was a Bush Theatre and Clean Break co-production and premiered at the Bush, London, in 2022  Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvfuCrrjgpGda3364IxcJg4rPZgcvtPrTs  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 23rd February 2023 - 8pm - Pomona - Alistair McDowall  [https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/pomona-9781350086715/] Ollie's sister is missing.  Searching Manchester in desperation, she finds all roads lead to Pomona, an abandoned concrete island at the heart of the city. Here at the centre of everything, journeys end and nightmares are born. Pomona is a sinister and surreal thriller.  Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0sd-Curz4jH914qgjhaxzGmocwaANSBJy8  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 30th March 2023 - 8pm - Iman Qureshi - Ministry of Lesbian Affairs  [https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/plays-to-perform/ministry-of-lesbian-affairs] It’s 2022. There’s a rainbow flag in every high street window, and no lesbian bar. Enter The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs: a lesbian choir on a mission to unite a disparate and dwindling community. Led by a world-weary conductor, the choir flirt, gossip and attempt to sing their way onto the main stage at Pride. This is a heart-warming and musical comedy about love, queerness, and belonging. No singing will be required as part of the reading!  Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsd-uqrz8uGtxjFgTOr9ia3u3KqNzZKI7R  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
In the Comfort Of Your Home
1st December from 20:00 to 22:00
One of the unexpected joys of lockdown was the Zoom play-reading circle organised by the Criterion theatre in Coventry, transporting us to different worlds, in a diverse and often distant company of theatre lovers.  Some led to productions, including 'The Gift' early this year and 'The Welkin' scheduled for 2023. 'Maryland' was performed on-line. It also meant that Criterion contacts from around the country could join in without having to brave the Coventry ring road. And enjoy a glass or two. The readings are free to attend (although of course we pay for the rights) and but we think it’s important to broaden our horizons and build on that earlier good work. So, as the nights draw in, why not come and escape from it all? You can read a part, stage directions or just sit back and listen -  it’s totally up to you.  If you would like to read please email lucyhayton@hotmail.com and include your name, approximate age and ethnicity so we can allocate parts as appropriately as possible (although be prepared to read anything!). Below is the list of play readings which we hope you’ll find interesting. Hope to see you then. And please do spread the word, all are welcome. 26th January 2023 - 8pm - Favour - Ambreen Razia  [https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/plays-to-perform/favour] Ambreen Razia's play Favour is a touching and hopeful family drama about a working-class Muslim family, tackling duty, addiction and the challenge of pulling yourself back together after it all falls apart. It was a Bush Theatre and Clean Break co-production and premiered at the Bush, London, in 2022  Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvfuCrrjgpGda3364IxcJg4rPZgcvtPrTs  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 23rd February 2023 - 8pm - Pomona - Alistair McDowall  [https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/pomona-9781350086715/] Ollie's sister is missing.  Searching Manchester in desperation, she finds all roads lead to Pomona, an abandoned concrete island at the heart of the city. Here at the centre of everything, journeys end and nightmares are born. Pomona is a sinister and surreal thriller.  Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0sd-Curz4jH914qgjhaxzGmocwaANSBJy8  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 30th March 2023 - 8pm - Iman Qureshi - Ministry of Lesbian Affairs  [https://www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/plays-to-perform/ministry-of-lesbian-affairs] It’s 2022. There’s a rainbow flag in every high street window, and no lesbian bar. Enter The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs: a lesbian choir on a mission to unite a disparate and dwindling community. Led by a world-weary conductor, the choir flirt, gossip and attempt to sing their way onto the main stage at Pride. This is a heart-warming and musical comedy about love, queerness, and belonging. No singing will be required as part of the reading!  Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsd-uqrz8uGtxjFgTOr9ia3u3KqNzZKI7R  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
In the Comfort Of Your Home
26th January from 20:00 to 22:00

News

__We are really pleased to be able to announce the 2023 season of plays. Coming back after the Covid lockdown has been a difficult journey, and there were different routes we could have taken. We have decided to go big and be ambitious and I do hope that you will come along with us for the ride! We believe we have put together a season that is exciting, challenging and with lots of interest for everyone. Now we really need everyone to get behind the season, and this includes audiences, actors, backstage teams and front of house. Come along and be part of a wonderful year of theatre.  • February 4-11: ‘After Life’ by Jack Thorne, Directed by Anne-marie Greene • April 1-8 -Festival Development TBA • June 17-24: ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ by Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim, Directed by Debra Relton-Elves, Musical Director: Liam Walker • September 2-9: ‘Beryl’ by Maxine Peake, Directed by Helen Withers • October 21-28: ‘The Welkin’ by Lucy Kirkwood, Directed by Nicol Cortese • December 9-16: ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ by Joseph Kesselring, Directed by Bill Butler
16th August
From July 17th to 23rd 2022, as part of the National Drama Festival, sixteen plays were performed by amateur theatre companies. This week-long theatrical extravaganza was the final heat of the annual National Drama Festivals Association competition, which brings together winners and high scorers from numerous drama festivals which have taken place across the UK as well as entries from Switzerland and Guernsey.   The Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon competed for the first time in 2021, where we achieved Runner Up in the full length play category with 'Queers'.  This year, we were determined to up our game, and we took two plays to one of the regional qualifiers, the Lighthorne Festival of One Act Plays in June- 'Closer to God' by Anna Jordan and 'The Gift: Act 2' by Janice Okoh. Both plays scored highly, but we were thrilled that 'The Gift' received one of the highest scores ever given to a play at Lighthorne and got automatic entry to the final competition.   Given that the plays are the best at their regional festivals, the standard at the final is exceptionally high. We were therefore over the moon to go on to finally win the trophy for Best One Act Play, and Best Comedy Moment for our production of 'The Gift'.   The whole experience was thrilling and so rewarding. It is a competition, but within a very supportive environment, and the adjudicator Jan Palmer-Sayer gave such constructive feedback to everyone involved. You get to see all different kinds of plays and meet lots of interesting people, connected together through their shared love of theatre.   As a side note, our good friends The Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth won Runner Up in the Full Length Play category for their play 'Twinkle' which just shows how high the quality of amateur theatre is in our little corner of the Midlands.   You have a chance to see some of the festival entries on Sunday 11th September 2022, where we will be putting on a double bill of 'Closer to God' and 'Twinkle'. The performance starts at 5:30pm and tickets are available at on the Criterion website at www.criteriontheatre.co.uk [http://www.criteriontheatre.co.uk/]    
31st July
The Covid lockdown has provided an opportunity to reflect  on a number of issues, and one of these has been our position and policy on equality, diversity and inclusion at the Criterion. We have always prided ourselves on the way in which we aim to be open and welcoming to everyone who comes through our doors. However, the recent demand for change, born of George Floyd’s murder and the wider Black Lives Matter movement has provided a particular catalyst for serious reflection. As a Board of Trustees, we have therefore worked to put together an Anti-Racism Reflective Statement [/../../edi/blacklivesmatter] that sets out our position and is not only a provocation to ourselves, but also a set of aspirations and a call to action to make real change and progress on equality, diversity and inclusion within our theatre.  Accompanying this, we have taken the opportunity to update our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement [/../../edi/edi-policy]. We think it is  important to proudly state our position, what we currently do, and what we plan to do to make improvements in the future around EDI . In order to move this agenda forward, we have produced an EDI Action plan [/../../../edi/edi-action-plan] which will include positive targets and review points . We are asking all our members, volunteers and stakeholders to sign up to an ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion, and to commit to furthering diversity within our company and beyond it into the wider theatre and arts arena. We have also set up an EDI working group, and would welcome contact from any individual who feels they would like to be a part of this to artisticdirector@criteriontheatre.co.uk. We are also pleased to be involved in consultation with the Diversity in Theatre Group set up recently involving members from local amateur theatres. In the uncertain times ahead, we can look to move forward in a way that is driven by a core aspiration for the Criterion Theatre to be a demonstrable place of opportunity for all with diverse and brilliant plays on stage and inclusive company and membership. Anne-marie Greene Artistic Director
29th March

Links

Alice

Dec 10th to 17th 2022
Laura Wade

The White Rabbit is late for the Duchess. The Cheshire Cat wont 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 thats less than perfect.

In this new adaptation by renowned playwright and Sheffield native, Laura Wade, you can follow Alice as she escapes her bedroom to find adventure in a topsy-turvy world. Based on Lewis Carroll's classic tale, Wade's adaptation breathes fresh life into a much-loved story about rabbit holes, pocket watches and talking caterpillars.

Our production involves a mixed age cast, including a number of roles being undertaken by members of our drama classes. A family production par excellence!

Reviews of the Play

"fast moving, amusing, inventive, and visually delightful" British Theatre Guide

"Wade's contemporary take on a Victorian classic is a genuine treat for the whole family." The Stage

 

EDI Assessment

In line with our EDI policy, we undertake an EDI impact assessment of all our artistic programming. ‘Alice’ has no specific diversity message within its narrative. The play can be cast with complete neutrality on race/ethnicity and gender.

Anniversary Celebrations 2021

Criterion at night

February 2021-February 2022 was the 60th anniversary of the Criterion Theatre opening. 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

Jack Thorne
Main House
Feb 4th to 11th
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
Main House
Jun 17th to 24th

Just Finished

Charles Dickens adapted by Hugh Janes
Main House
Oct 29th to Nov 4th
Anna Jordan and Philip Meeks
Main House
September 11th
Friedrich Schiller adapted by Peter Oswald
Main House
Sep 3rd to 10th
© 2022 Criterion Theatre Ltd
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