Built in 1873, the Criterion Theatre is a West End theatre situated in the heart of central London on Piccadilly Circus. It is the only independent theatre in the West End.
Its illustrious history includes French Without Tears, the 1936 play which ran for 1039 performances and launched the career of Terence Rattigan, and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Its alumni include John Gielgud, Prunella Scales, Diana Rigg and Ian McKellen. During World War II, the theatre was requisitioned by the BBC as an underground studio safe from the London blitz.
The Criterion’s main production is John Buchan’s ‘The 39 Steps’, now in its fifth year. Criterion Presents, launching in October 2011, is an ancillary programme of shows, events and platforms alongside the main show, taking place at lunchtimes, early evenings and late nights.