Criterion Theatre

1 events on sale
593 capacity
The Criterion Theatre, opened in 1873, situated underground, had comic operas in early years. Later renovated with installed electricity, preserved Victorian auditorium remains. Notable shows include Shakespeare's works.

All events at Criterion Theatre

1 event on sale

Criterion Theatre location and directions

Criterion Theatre

218-223 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, London, United Kingdom, SW1Y 4XA


Location: West End
Railway station: Charing Cross
Bus numbers: (Haymarket) 3, 6, 12, 13, 19, 23, 38, 88, 139; (Regent Street) 14, 15, 22, 94, 159, 453
Night bus numbers: (Haymarket) 6, 12, 23, 88, 139, 159, N3, N13, N18, N19, N38, N97, N136, N550, N551; (Regent Street) 14, 94, 159, 453, N15, N22, N109
Car park: Leicester Square, Whitcomb Street (3 mins)
Directions from tube: The theatre can be seen on Piccadilly Circus next to the Eros statue.

About Criterion Theatre

When the Criterion Theatre first opened in 1873, the space was designed as a concert hall. The Criterion Theatre is the only West End theatre to be situated almost entirely underground — even the Upper Circle is not at street level.

The Criterion Theatre housed comic opera in its early years, including works by W. S. Gilbert and George Grossmith. A decade after opening, the theatre had to be renovated to meet the Metropolitan Board of Works standards for ventilation. This work also saw the installation of electricity to the theatre. The building surrounding the theatre was extensively rebuilt between 1989 and 1992, but the Victorian auditorium was well-preserved and still stands today.

Notable shows at the Criterion Theatre include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, the long-running play The 39 Steps and Mischief Theatre's The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.

Criterion Theatre Seating Information

The auditorium has three levels – Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle.

The front rows of the Stalls offers good views of the stage, though the seating is not raked steeply.

The Dress Circle has specifically designated ‘restricted view’ seats due to the number of pillars supporting the Upper Circle in Row C.

The Upper Circle offers unrestricted theatre views.

Criterion Theatre seating plan

Criterion Theatre seating plan

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