Join Warwick University Big Band for the last event of the year,
celebrating the musicians leaving the band.
Based in the University of Warwick, this student led 17-piece band has
played venues all across the West Midlands and awarded with special
merit for the 2023 National Concert Band Festival.
Playing everything from Beyoncé to Big Band classics, WUBB will be
sure to put on a memorable performance and a great evening of music.
To buy tickets click here [/../../../seats/8520]
In the Auditorium and Bar
25th June from 19:00 to 22:00
Members - Company Member's AGM
In the Auditorium and Bar
18th July from 19:30 to 22:00
Play Reading - Meet Me at the Nightingale
In the Bar
20th July from 19:30 to 21:30
At the Criterion Theatre we are always striving to provide a space for
performing arts where a diversity of stories can be told and voices
can be heard. This is primarily to entertain, but we also produce
challenging, thought-provoking and sometimes provocative theatre.
Alongside our own season of work, as a community theatre, we encourage
and empower individual artists and groups of artists to share our
theatre space and make creative work. This can mean that elements of
programmes cannot be in our full control. However, as set out in our
EDI policy [/../../../edi/edi-policy], we would like to reiterate our
commitment to inclusivity, where people should come into our theatre
and find a welcoming place, particularly for those most vulnerable in
our society. We come together in our love for theatre both regardless
of, and in due regard to: sex, race and ethnicity, age, disability,
religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender identity. The
Criterion Theatre is not a place where exclusionary views and
behaviours are accepted and we expect all members and visitors to
adhere to our EDI policy [/../../../edi/edi-policy].
We will constantly endeavour to meet the high values and standards we
have set ourselves. We welcome feedback and comment on any parts of
the programming taking place and particularly when we are felt to fall
short, from which we will do our very best to improve and learn in the
The Board of Directors/Trustees
It is with the greatest sadness that I have to announce the death of
the last surviving Founder Member of the Criterion Theatre, Christine
Christine, who had been in poor health this last year, and had been
settled back in Allesley Hall Nursing Home for the past few weeks
after a hospital stay, passed away quietly and peacefully on 11th
January. She was 93 years old and a much loved and respected member of
the Criterion Theatre family. She will be sadly missed by us all.
Without the vision and courage of Christine Harris (as she was called
then) and her fellow co-founders, who included her sister and
brother-in-law, Beryl and John Smith, there would be no Criterion
Theatre. In 1955 they formed the Criterion Players and Christine
became the first Company Secretary. After a number of years of
intensive fund raising they bought the old Methodist Chapel in
Earlsdon and took the personal risk of standing as guarantors for the
bank loan. We owe them an immense debt of gratitude.
She was a popular actress and also worked in many support roles
throughout her long involvement with the Company. Her work as a
teacher took her out of Coventry for a while but she never forgot her
spiritual home in Earlsdon; returning often to see productions and
attend special events. After her husband died she moved back to
Coventry again and picked up where she left off, working with her
customary enthusiasm at the Criterion. She was regularly seen on the
coffee bar and also provided experienced support with the junior drama
During the special event celebrating the Criterion Theatre’s 60th
celebration she was visibly moved by the realisation of what she’d
achieved and by the resounding ovation that the Company gave to her.
She was so very proud of being a Founder member – and so are we.
Our thoughts and love go out to Christine’s family at this difficult
Christine’s funeral will take place at the Charter Chapel, Canley
Crematorium, Charter Avenue, Coventry at 11.30am on Monday 6th
February, 2023 followed by a gathering at Coventry Hearsall Golf Club,
Beechwood Avenue, Coventry.
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
‘After Life’ by Jack Thorne
Directed by Anne-marie Greene
March 25-April 1
Programme to be confirmed.
This will be a festival of one act plays and short pieces, spoken
words, music and other creative events, in collaboration with our
‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’
by Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Debra Relton-Elves, Musical Director: Liam Walker
THE COST OF YOU
BY ANDREW SHARPE
'The Cost of You' by Andrew Sharpe
Directed by Chris Ingall
A Studio Production
‘Beryl’ by Maxine Peake
Directed by Helen Withers
‘The Welkin’ by Lucy Kirkwood
Directed by Nicol Cortese
‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ by Joseph Kesselring
Directed by Bill Butler
The Covid lockdown provided an opportunity to reflect on a number of
issues, and one of these was 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
As a Board of Trustees, we 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 took 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 includes 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
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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