Criterion Theatre Celebrates 150 Years

150 free tickets will be given each week for 12-21 year olds to see Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York).

By: Apr. 16, 2024
Criterion Theatre Celebrates 150 Years
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Based in Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London's West, The Criterion Theatre is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a pioneering scheme to give 150 free tickets each week for eight weeks to 12-21 year olds to see the production currently playing at the theatre - Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York).

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 150th. 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.”

A gala performance celebrating the theatre's rich history will be held on 24 June which will serve as a fundraising event to extend the free ticket scheme beyond the initial 8 week offering (22 April - 14 June 2024).

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.



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