The Criterion Theatre has a seating capacity of 588 on three levels.
The Stalls section is one block of seats without aisles, the longest row being 24 seats all in straight rows. The first and last two seats of the middle section are particularly hampered as they are set outside of the proscenium arch (aperture/front of stage). This restriction could be offset by discounted tickets.
The Stalls section is un-raked which in turn can be quite restrictive as the view over the audience in front is impaired.
Pillars supporting the Dress Circle form a small semi-circle are also problematic and appear in rows J, M and N. Views from L-S are more restricted although again ticket price is relative. Seats P 8-16 are positioned in between pillars therefore unrestricted but quite far back and set underneath the overhang of the balcony above. At the back of the house left of the section from M-S, 18-24 are the worst seats as they are separated by pillars and feel very far back. The overhang begins at row H, curves back into a horseshoe shape to row M. Although not much of the action is missed you feel somewhat closed off from the rest of the theatre. See actual patrons reviews for more detailed comment.
- Dress Circle:
The Dress Circle is accessed 32 steps below the street level but can provide better views of the stage. This section is quite a long and narrow shape and consists of only 5 and a half rows of seats. Each row is angled onto the stage instead of facing straight on. There are 3 pillars across the section obstructing views. However the whole circle is well raked so you are able to see over the audience in front of you. The best seats are row A and B and being closest to the stage you are closest to the actors. If possible avoid row C the first and last 5 seats in each row although again they are often discounted. The overhang of the Upper Circle begins around row C.
- Upper Circle:
The closest section to street level is the Upper Circle. Set back slightly behind the Dress Circle, there are only 3 rows and the section has a wide central dividing aisle. These are the most expensive seats providing the best views of the stage. Rows B and C centre seats
are unrestricted but seats towards the ends of the final rows have bad sight lines.
- Auditorium Access:
The auditorium of the Criterion Theatre is located below street level.
There are 54 stairs down the Stalls level, 32 stairs down to the Dress Circle level, and 23 stairs to the Upper Circle.
There is no lift in the theatre, however step free access is possible to the Upper Circle level upon request.
- Access for Wheelchairs:
There is a step free entrance beside the Stage Door in Jermyn Street behind the theatre.
Two wheelchair spaces are available in the back row of the Upper Circle.
One accessible toilet on the Upper Circle with step free access from Jermyn Street upon request.
- Hard of Hearing: A portable
loop available at the Box Office and a Sennheiser infra-red hearing system in all parts of the auditorium. Headsets are also available from the Cloakroom. Please contact the Box Office to find out about the occasional sign language interpreted performances provided occasionally. Telephone 020 7839 8811 for more information.
- Guide Dogs:
Theatre staff are able to look after up to two dogs per performance in the Theatre Manager’s office. However assistance dogs are not allowed into the auditorium. Please contact the Box Office for dates and more information on occasional audio described performances – Telephone 020 7839 8811.
How to get there:
stled in the ground and unusually underground near Piccadilly Circus tube station The Criterion Theatre holds a very central position in the heart of London with many transport links.
Address: 218-223 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster, London WIV 9LB
Tel: 0207 839 8811 or Box Office 0844 8471778
Tube: Piccadilly Circus Underground Tube Station is almost on the doorstep of The Criterion Theatre. Look for Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines. The statue of Eros and Lillywhites are next to Piccadilly station and the theatre is on the left hand side of the statue of Eros.
London Charing Cross is the nearest National Rail station to the Criterion. Charing Cross is 10 minutes away. Leaving the station cross the road at the traffic lights. Take a left turn towards Trafalgar Square crossing the square to reach Pall Mall and take first right up Haymarket. Turn left to join Piccadilly Circus.
Several options of buses are available stopping along Haymarket: 3, 12, 88, 453 and Regent Street: 3, 6, 12, 13, 15, 23, 88, 139 and 453
The nearest Q Park is the 24 hour Chinatown car park at 20 Newport Place, WC2H 7PR. Parking is currently £18 for up to 3 hours and £24 for 4 hours but have your ticket validated at the theatre and save 50% of the parking fee. Theatre ushers have information of details where to get the ticket stamped.
The Criterion Theatre is within the London Congestion charge Zone applying a charge of £10 per day from 7am to 6pm weekdays, (not including bank holidays) however after 6pm there is no congestion charge.
Black cabs are always in the area but Charing Cross station has a designated taxi rank.
Hotels near venue: 5* Le Meridien 3 mins on foot
Covent Gdn Apts 9 mins on foot
4* Best Western 4 mins on foot
3* Premier Inn 4 mins on foot