News: Criterion Theatre Celebrates 150 Anniversary

April 16, 2024
News: Criterion Theatre Celebrates 150 Anniversary

The Criterion Theatre is celebrating its 150 anniversary with a scheme to give 150 free tickets each week for eight weeks to 12-21 year olds. The theatre, based in Piccadilly Circus, is currently the home to Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York), and between the dates of 22nd April – 14th June 150 young people will have the opportunity to see the production for free every week.

There will be a gala on the 24th June to celebrate the life of the theatre and raise funds to extend the free ticket scheme.

Sally Greene, Trustee, said: “The Criterion Theatre Trust has been running this gorgeous venue for over thirty years and we are thrilled to be able to continue our work with young people with this exciting offer to mark the Cri’s 150 th . I am delighted that 150 young people a week will be able to enjoy the wonderful production of Two Stangers (Carry A Cake Across New York) for the next eight weeks.

The scheme will be offered initially to schools with the administrative support of Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation with whom the theatre already works on its Theatre Skills Workshop programme. It is hoped that the scheme will then be made available more widely.

Fiona Callaghan, Managing Director, said: “The Criterion team is delighted that the Trust is able to make this offer to encourage young people to experience live theatre in our beautiful venue. Working with Coram Shakespeare Schools Festival on material to support their visit, we hope to further inspire and challenge our young audiences.

Stephen Fry, Chairman of Trustees, said: “Actors, directors and producers always love playing the Criterion Theatre. The Piccadilly Jewel Box has a uniquely magical atmosphere. From the stage, its auditorium is like a wide smile, and from the auditorium, the stage is close enough for intimacy and a real connection with the actors and the drama being presented. The 150th Anniversary—the Sesquicentenary, if you want the posh word—is a perfect time to celebrate the Cri’s unique place in the West End, and to do so in a way that helps new audiences find this very special London treasure.”

The scheme will be targeted at young people who do not ordinarily have the opportunity to visit the theatre. The schools offer will be supported with teacher packs and a curriculum aligned lesson plan from Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation. For certain performances there will also be post show question and answers sessions and tours of the theatre. The Criterion Theatre Trust is being supported in this offering by the production of Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York) offering the Trust subsidised tickets for purchase. “A perfect show for the scheme, Two Strangers follows two twenty-somethings as they navigate dating apps, life & love in an expensive city, and finding your place in the world.Tim Johanson, Producer.

Book tickets to Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York) here
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