News: Criterion Theatre Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary With A Special Gala Performance

May 10, 2024
News: Criterion Theatre Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary With A Special Gala Performance

The Criterion Theatre is celebrating its 150th Anniversary with a special gala performance hosted by Stephen Fry on the 24th June 2024. The gala, directed by Michael Fentiman, will feature a host of special guests and will raise funds for the extension of the ticket scheme to give 150 free tickets a week to 12-21 year olds for shows at the venue.

The gala will celebrate the theatre’s rich history and will feature songs, sketches and scenes from the last 150 years. As well as a central cast of performers the evening will feature an array of special guests who will be announced in due course.

Stephen Fry said: “To celebrate 150 years of the Criterion Theatre, I am very proud, as Chairman of the Criterion Theatre Trust and lover of this gorgeous jewel box of a West End house, to be hosting our 150th Anniversary Gala on the evening of the 24th June. Aside from saluting the matchless history of this beloved venue, we are celebrating the work we do, as a charitable trust, to encourage and develop new talent from all over Britain. This will help highlight and fund our 150Tix initiative, which offers 150 free tickets a week to the under21s throughout the spring and summer, as well as our work in providing experience, mentorship, guidance and opportunity in new writing and all aspects of theatre to young people from around the country. But above all the Gala will be a joyous and entertaining occasion, full of fun, mischief, and delight. Out of respect to the wishes of the theatre management, I will be hosting this event fully clothed. For most of the time.”

Michael Fentiman said: “I am terribly excited to have been invited to direct the Criterion’s 150th Anniversary Celebration. The Criterion holds a very special place in my heart, as my “back to work” venue in 2021, when the run of my production of Amélie re-opened the theatre after its pandemic closure. It will be a privilege to bring our wonderful cast of “Criterion Friends” back to the stage, to raise funds in aid of such a good cause! We hope to bring an evening of fun and mischief that raises a salute to the history of one of the West End’s most iconic locations – filled with memories, scenes and songs from across the years – both those lost to time and our modern classics. With lots of surprises in store (not least Stephen Fry keeping his clothes on) I’m sure it’s going to be an unmissable evening of entertainment.

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