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Stephen Fry to host Criterion Theatre 150th anniversary Gala

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Stephen Fry to host Criterion Theatre 150th anniversary Gala

To celebrate its 150th anniversary the Criterion Theatre will host a special gala performance on 24 June 2024.

Directed by Michael Fentiman the gala will be hosted by Stephen Fry in his capacity as Chairman of the Criterion Theatre Trust. Celebrating the theatre’s rich history the performance will feature songs, sketches and scenes from the last 150 years. As well as a central cast of performers, the evening will feature an array of special guests who will be announced in due course.

Stephen Fry:

“To celebrate 150 years of the Criterion Theatre, I am very proud, as Chairman of the Criterion Theatre Trust and lover of this gorgeous jewel box of a West End house, to be hosting our 150th Anniversary Gala on the evening of the 24th June. Aside from saluting the matchless history of this beloved venue, we are celebrating the work we do, as a charitable trust, to encourage and develop new talent from all over Britain.

“This will help highlight and fund our 150Tix initiative, which offers 150 free tickets a week to the under21s throughout the spring and summer, as well as our work in providing experience, mentorship, guidance and opportunity in new writing and all aspects of theatre to young people from around the country. But above all the Gala will be a joyous and entertaining occasion, full of fun, mischief, and delight. Out of respect to the wishes of the theatre management, I will be hosting this event fully clothed. For most of the time.”

Criterion Theatre

The Gala is a celebration of the Criterion’s past, present and future and will be raising funds for the theatre’s 150TIX scheme. Begun in the spring of this anniversary year, offering 150 free tickets a week for eight weeks to under 21-year-olds, the theatre hopes to raise funds to continue the scheme  – £75,000 will enable it to extend the scheme for a further 20 weeks.  Encouraging live theatre experiences which it is hoped will inspire not just future audiences but perhaps future theatre workforces.

Michael Fentiman:

“I am terribly excited to have been invited to direct the Criterion’s 150th Anniversary Celebration. The Criterion holds a very special place in my heart, as my “back to work” venue in 2021, when the run of my production of Amélie re-opened the theatre after its pandemic closure. It will be a privilege to bring our wonderful cast of “Criterion Friends” back to the stage, to raise funds in aid of such a good cause!

“We hope to bring an evening of fun and mischief that raises a salute to the history of one of the West End’s most iconic locations – filled with memories, scenes and songs from across the years – both those lost to time and our modern classics. With lots of surprises in store (not least Stephen Fry keeping his clothes on) I’m sure it’s going to be an unmissable evening of entertainment.”

Tickets are now on sale at www.criterion-theatre.co.uk

Criterion Theatre

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