L'événement culturel de l'été à Bruxelles!
Topologie du théâtre
Nombre de salles actives: 1
Salle 1: (592) 1874 - Actif
En métro: Piccadilly Circus
En bus: 3, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 22, 23, 38, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453
Adresse: Piccadilly Circus, London, SW1Y 4XA
The only basement theatre in London - Tilework and painting by Messrs Simpson and Son.
The Comedy about a bank robbery se jouera au Criterion Theatre à partir du mois d'avril 2016: "Un énorme diamant, huit voleurs incompétents et un gardien … edormi! Qu'est-ce qui pourrait bien se passer?"
Cette comédie provient de la même équipe que celle qui a créé dans le West End The Play That Goes Wrong au Duchess Theatre, et Peter Pan That Goes Wrong à l'Apollo Theatre.
La production présentée au Criterion - quiest un West End Transfert de la version du Menier Chocolate Factory - est prolongée jusqu'au 14 février 2016.
Great coaching inns, such as the Bull and Mouth of St Martins-le- Grand in the City of London, and the Kings Head or the George Inn in Southwark, were an Important element of the 17th- and 18th- century London scene, catering for the movements of considerable numbers of passengers each day through the capital. The White Bear, a 17th-century coaching Inn, occupied a prime site on the south side of Piccadilly, with convenient access, via its large stableyard, to Jermyn Street at the rear. A popular inn, the White Bear survived beyond the coaching age to be demolished only in 1870. The purchasers of the site, wine merchants Spiers and Pond, held an architectural competition, won by Thomas Verity, architect of the nearby Comedy Theatre, for an entertainments complex incorporating a restaurant, pub and picture gallery with a concert and exhibition hall in the basement. The building was completed In 1873, an eastern extension was built in 1879, and a rear extension to Jermyn Street was added in 1885. The Interiors were richly decorated in ornamental tile- and paintwork by Messrs Simpson and Son; the Long Bar and banqueting room remain virtually intact to this day.
The proposal to provide a theatre in the basement, replacing the concert and exhibition hall, was made part way through the contract, and the theatre was opened after the rest of the complex on 21 March 1874 - only to be closed by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1882 on fire-safety grounds. Extensive improvements were made to the building, and the theatre reopened two years later. Further alterations were made In 1905, when the ground-floor buffet became the Marble Restaurant, with new doors to Piccadilly Circus; in 1908, when a new full-length iron and glass canopy was added to the front; and In 1921 and 1924, when part of the frontage was rebuilt and new floors added - all at the time when the distinguished architect and co-founder of the Art Workers’ Guild Sir Reginald Blomfield was building to the west of the Criterion his grand entrance to Lower Regent Street in Portland stone and a Beaux-Arts classical manner. The east wing of the Criterion was demolished in the late 1980s and replaced by an office
block designed by Renton Howard Wood Levine, with, on its angle into Haymarket, an eye-catching fountain dominated by the rearing Horses of Helios, sculpted in 1992 by Rudy Weller,
Looking across Piccadilly Circus from the north side, it is easy to lose the Criterion in what at first glance appears to be a monolithic block; but look again at the beautiful, delicate, eclectic classical stone front and be lifted above the welter of noise and mechanical turmoil. Eros has regrettably been moved on to a pedestrian area in front of the theatre, where he is cordoned off to prevent vandalism. Owing not a little to the Paris Opera House, the three main storeys of the Criterion are crowned, above a deep entablature, by a dormered mansard and pavilion roof. Although the front has been masked to its detriment by numerous layers of off-white paint, cherubs abound to raise the spirits. The restaurant and theatre each have separate entrances under pretty semi-circular glazed canopies. The theatre foyer is compact, but its painted and tiled decorative panels, which alternate with large plate-glass mirrors,
give it a lively touch and provide an Illusion of space. The coved ceiling depicts rather crude, ill-tempered cherubs, a muscular lyre player and a musical maiden posed in a woodland garden, A single staircase drops down to the auditorium, which, although altered in 1884, retains its original horseshoe form of 1874, with two tiers of serpentine balconies supported on slender wreathed cast-iron columns. The balcony fronts are iron openwork, and the flat circular ceiling is ornamented with rococo relief panels. As the theatre is confined to the basement, no scenery can be flown - an openable prompt-side box provides for the movement of scenery - and no machinery was ever installed under the stage; this was no small limitation at a time when transformation scenes were extremely popular. Notwithstanding this inconvenience, the Criterion is a wonderful example of a Victorian multi-use complex, of which few survive; one other notable instance is Alexandra Palace at Muswell Hill (1875).
The theatre opened with a performance of An American Lady, a comedy written by the manager Henry J. Byron, but it was Sir Charles Wyndham’s partner and later wife, actress Mary Moore, who was most prominently associated with the building from 1886 to 1931. Having managed the theatre since
1875, Charles Wyndham was lessee at his death in 1919. Being safely underground, the Criterion was used by the BBC as a studio during the Second World War, and since that time many successes have been performed here, including Joe Orton’s Loot (1966), The High Bid with Eartha Kitt (1971) and A Doll's House with Claire Bloom (1973).
The Stalls section is particularly tricky due to the shape of the section and the pillars that support the Dress Circle above. The whole section is set as one block of seats with no aisles. The rows are straight and do not curve around the shape of the stage. Because of this, the first and last two seats of each row around the middle section fall outside of the proscenium arch, and do not provide as good value for money. Unless discounted, these restricted view seats are not worth the side on view of the stage.
The whole section is un-raked, meaning that the view over the audience in front can be quite restrictive. Rows feel quite tight together, and leg room in general is not very good. The stage feels quite low, and because of the pitch of the seats, some detail on the floor of the stage is missed throughout the performance. For a better overall view of the stage, the Dress Circle is advisable. Pillars appear in rows J, M and N, at both sides of the row, forming a small semi-circle around the section. Views from L-S then become heavily restricted by these pillars, although this is taken into account in the pricing structure. Seats P 8-16 fall in between pillars and are unrestricted, but still feel quite far back, set underneath the overhang of the balcony above. Worse seats are the back house left of the section, from rows M-S, 18-24. These seats are separated by pillars and feel very far away from the action. Pillars are always in view and can be quite distracting. The overhang begins initially at row H, although curves back in a horseshoe shape to to row M. Not much of the action is missed, although you do feel quite closed off from the rest of the theatre.
The Dress Circle is situated 32 steps below street level but probably provides the better views of the stage. The section is quite long and narrow, with only 5 and a half rows of seats. The section curves around dramatically in a horseshoe shape, meaning the each row is angled onto the stage rather than facing straight on. Three pillars create obstructions once again, leading to restricted view seats across the section.
The whole circle is well raked, meaning you can see well over the heads in front. Best seats are row A and B as these are both closest to the stage and out of the way of any obstructions. The section feels quite low due to the size of the venue, and you feel particularly close to the actors. From row C the first and last 5 seats in each row should be avoided as they are restricted and do not directly face the stage. These seats are often discounted. The overhang of the Upper Circle begins around row C, curving back slightly in a shallower horseshoe shape.
The Upper Circle is set back slightly behind the Dress Circle, and is the closest section to street level. With only 3 rows, the section is divided by a wide central aisle. Prices for the whole of row A are the most expensive as these provide the best views of the stage. The centre of rows B and C are unrestricted, but seats towards the ends of the final two rows are labelled as restricted and suffer due to bad sight lines.
The only basement theatre in London - Tilework and painting by Messrs Simpson and Son.