Criterion Theatre

Access Information for the Criterion Theatre, September 2021

The address of the Criterion Theatre is 218 to 223 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, London W1V 9LB.  The entrance is situated on the south side of the EROS statue in the centre of Piccadilly Circus.

If you are arriving by car the best place to be dropped off is at the rear of the building on Jermyn Street (a one way street coming from Haymarket). You can then walk around the outside of the building to Piccadilly Circus. There is no on-street parking in the nearby area. The closest car-park is on Whitcomb Street.

If you’re coming by tube, the nearest stations are Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Charing Cross. Numerous buses stop nearby.

The front doors of the theatre will be pinned open 45 minutes before the commencement of the performance. Before this time the double doors can be pushed or pulled to gain access into the foyer. There is a sloped entrance into the foyer from street level. The box office windows are on the left-hand side and the window is at chest height.

To collect your headset and large print or Braille cast list, please ask a member of the Front of House staff who will be in the foyer. If you would like to listen to the introductory notes, you should collect your headset in good time to take your seat fifteen minutes before the start of the performance.

The theatre auditorium is below street level. To get to the stalls seating there are 54 steps down from the foyer. The Dress Circle seating is down 42 steps, and the toilets are also on this level.

The Upper Circle seating is at street level and accessed from behind the theatre using the door next to the Stage Door in Jermyn Street. This is also the entrance for Wheelchair users. Please let the Box Office know you are coming in advance and press the Stage Door buzzer on arrival. Access is down a slight slope into the Upper Circle. There are four wheelchair spaces in the back row. There is an accessible toilet on this level.

The auditorium is a traditional horse shoe shape, arranged on three levels, stalls, dress circle and upper circle, seating just under 600 people. On the stalls level there are aisles either side, which slope down gently towards the stage. On the other levels there are stepped aisles.

Please note that this information has been supplied by the venue and although every effort has been made to check details, you may still have some queries. In this case, we would ask you to contact the theatre direct for clarification.


Useful Information and Contact Details

You will receive your tickets via a text message 5 hours before the performance. You can also order refreshments, ice creams and merchandise for Click and Collect via the link in the text message.

At the Criterion Theatre Assistance dogs are allowed in the auditorium, or can be cared for outside the auditorium. If you are bringing a guide dog, or if you require any further information before your visit, please phone the Stage Door on 020 7839 8811, and ask for either the Box Office or the Duty Manager.

If you have access to email, you can contact the theatre at [email protected]

The theatre’s website address is


See It Safely

The Criterion has been awarded the use of Society Of London Theatre and UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely’ mark. The mark certifies that they are complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of staff and audiences.


Please do not attend the venue if you:

  • Believe you may be infected with COVID-19;
  • Have experienced symptoms in the last 10 days;
  • Have been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 10 days;
  • Have arrived in England in the last 10 days and are therefore required to self-isolate
  • or have been instructed to self-isolate.



Tickets can be exchanged up to 24 hours prior to the performance – so if someone in your party feels ill, there’s no need to worry. If your performance is less than 24 hours away please contact the box office on [email protected].

Any individual who considers themselves to be clinically extremely vulnerable or who is in the same household or support bubble as someone who considers themselves to be clinically extremely vulnerable should make their own assessment as to if they wish to attend performances following current Government advice.  Please note you may be seated next to, immediately in front of or behind audience members who are not part of your booking group.

In order to minimise queuing the theatre is issuing e-tickets instead of paper tickets. If you experience any issues with your e-tickets or have no option to receive them, please contact the Criterion box office.


E-Tickets and Pre-show Text

On the day of the performance you will receive a text which will include your e-tickets to be scanned by our FOH team when you enter the foyer.  The text will also provide a link for you to pre-order drinks and merchandise for collection in the Lord Attenborough Bar either on arrival or for the interval.  Please have your tickets ready to be scanned and forward on to any other members of your party if they will be arriving separately. You will not be able to enter the theatre foyer without a valid ticket.


Face Coverings

In line with government guidance with regards to face covering indoors, the Criterion requires face coverings to be worn during your time with them – including during the performance – this measure helps to protect you, your fellow audience members, theatre staff and the Amélie company. You may remove the face covering as briefly as possible for eating and drinking. If you have an exemption from wearing a face covering please contact the venue on [email protected] ahead of your visit.  It will help front of house staff and fellow audience members if you have visible your badge or exemption lanyard.


Hand Sanitiser

Hand sanitiser stations are in place throughout the venue. Please use these on entry and throughout your visit.

Please also wash your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds.


Social Distancing

In line with government guidelines, from 19th July performances will no longer be socially distanced as the limit on capacity and social distancing rules are lifted.  You may therefore be sitting next to other people.

You can select seats directly from the seating plan and there are no longer limits on the number of seats you can book.

The theatre continues to ask you to maintain a safe social distance if queuing to take your seats or when using any of their facilities and to follow our one way systems as you move around the theatre.  You may need to pass someone to take your seat in a row.  The Criterion continue to require face coverings to be worn during your visit.

There are certain seating areas, such as sitting in a box or in dress circle slip seats which will naturally continue to be a socially distanced option if that is your preference.  To find out about these seats or for more information on the move to fuller capacity without socially distancing, please contact the box office team on 020 7839 8811 or email [email protected]  Please note the onsite box office is closed on Mondays.



The theatre has a ventilation system which draws fresh air straight into the theatre from our roof.  As part of their re-opening preparation they have also upgraded the filter system on the air intake and installed air purifying units – these are visible in the Ladies and Gents toilet areas.


Timed Entry

You will be allocated a time slot for entry to the venue to avoid queues. If you are delayed and miss your time slot you may be asked to wait outside before you can enter.

All members of your party should arrive together, if a member of your party will be delayed please make sure they have an e-ticket available to them.


Contactless Payment

Contactless payments only throughout the venue. All tickets will be sent to you in advance as e-tickets, there will be no collection from the box office.


Professional Cleaning

The venue is professionally cleaned with additional enhanced cleaning procedures in place for high touch points and between performances.


Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace QR Check In is available.  Although not now compulsory the venue recommends you check in on entry.




Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions


Can I bring a group?

Yes, group bookings should be made by contacting the Box Office team at [email protected].


Will I be able to buy refreshments at the venue?

You will be sent an option to pre order drinks, refreshments and merchandise prior to arrival via a text message on the day of the performance, your order will then be available to collect from The Lord Attenborough Bar.  You can arrange a drink for arrival and the interval.

Please note that any hot food or alcohol purchased outside of the venue is not allowed into the theatre. If you have alcohol with you these items can be kept at the Box Office for the duration of the performance and collected as you leave. Please make the staff member conducting the bag checks aware.


Will the cloakroom be open?

No, our cloakroom will not be open. Please keep your belongings to a minimum. Bag checks will be performed on arrival as usual.


What happens if the Government changes the Covid-19 guidance?

We’re constantly checking Government guidance and will adapt our arrangements as the guidelines change.  If any changes affect your booking we will contact you as soon as we can.

If Government social distancing guidance changes and we are required to decrease or permitted to increase the capacity on the performance you are attending, we may need to move you to different seats to accommodate the changes in the auditorium lay out.  We will notify you of such changes and if the move is to seats of a lower value we will offer you the opportunity to transfer to a different performance as available or refund the difference in value from your original booking.


Want to know more?

You can find out more about the See It Safely campaign here

More information about the government guidance we are following can be found here: Events and attractions – Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance from Step 4 – Guidance – GOV.UK (


What do I do if I have symptoms or have been asked to isolate?

You should not attend if you, or another member of your household, develop any symptoms of Coronavirus in the 10 days prior to your visit. You will be offered an exchange to an alternative performance for any unusable tickets in your booking (where you let us know in advance that you cannot attend), giving you peace of mind when you book.


Will there still be provisions for people using wheelchairs?

Yes, spaces are available in the Upper Circle as usual. Wheelchair access is through the step free entrance beside the Stage Door in Jermyn Street. Please contact our box office on 020 7839 8811 or email [email protected] for more information and to book your tickets.

If you would like to transfer to a seat please contact the box office for a full range of options available: [email protected]


How can I get to the theatre?

Please do allow plenty of time to get to the venue for your specific entry time. You can find this on your ticket. If it is possible please do walk or cycle part of the way.

If travelling by public transport it is recommended that you check your journey ahead of your visit as there may have been changes to your route.

Please wear a face covering for the duration of your journey on public transport as you approach the theatre.

Full details of how to find the Criteron are here


What should I do if I become unwell after my theatre visit?

If you start to feel unwell and display symptoms of Covid-19 after your visit you should follow government guidance regarding isolation, testing and notifiying NHS Test and Trace

If you then test positive, NHS Test & Trace will ask you where you have been recently and who you have seen. They will advise anyone with whom you may have been in close contact and let them know what they should do next.

In addition, you can contact us by email: [email protected]


VocalEyes is a charity funded by Arts Council England.