Frequently Asked Questions
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Criterion Theatre to enjoy theatre in a safe environment.
We have been awarded the use of Society Of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s ‘See It Safely’ mark. The mark certifies that we are complying with the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of our staff and audiences.
You can find out more about the measures we have in place here and you can check Official London Theatre for more information on the scheme.
Further government guidance we are following can be found on gov.uk.
Criterion Theatre is located on Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London’s West End.
Face coverings are required for the duration of your time on public transport unless you have an exemption.
TFL journey planner can help you plan the most efficient journey to Criterion Theatre.
The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus which is served by the Piccadilly Line and the Bakerloo Line. Please use exit 6 (Eros) for the Criterion Theatre.
Many TFL buses are available within a few minutes walking distance on Regent Street, Coventry Street, Piccadilly, Shaftesbury Avenue and Haymarket.
Our nearest railway station is Charing Cross, which is a 10 minute walk away, or 6 minutes on the Bakerloo Line.
If you’re driving into the West End to see a show, take advantage of Q-Park’s Theatreland Parking Scheme saving 50% off off-street car parking charges for up to 4 hours. To qualify, simply present your Q-Park car park ticket for validation at the theatre and the car park machine will automatically charge you half price. Our nearest Q-Park car park is Trafalgar Square and the next nearest is Chinatown. Please note Leicester Square, Whitcomb Street is not currently part of this scheme.
For details of locations and prices please visit q-park.co.uk.
If you are cycling to the theatre, you can find details of the nearest cycle stands at westminster.gov.uk.
You will have an allocated arrival time with your booking to enable us to observe social distancing while our audience arrives. Please ensure all members of your party are aware of the time they should arrive. Your party should all arrive together. If this is not possible please ensure members of your party who may be delayed have their e-ticket available to them.
Front of House staff will greet you on your arrival to the theatre. Please note there may be a socially distanced queue outside of the theatre to allow us to complete our security and temperature checks before admittance into the foyer.
Please observe one way systems and social distancing measures within the venue.
Bag checks are carried out for all patrons prior to their entry into the Foyer/Box Office. Please arrive at your allocated arrival time and ensure that you have your bag open and ready to show our staff as this significantly speeds up the process for everyone involved.
We are not able to accommodate large bags or suitcases and advise patrons to bring with them only essential, handbag size, bags. We are not able to run any cloakroom facilities in line with our guidance for operating safely with Covid-19 protocols in place. We are unable to make any exceptions so please do ensure all members of your party are aware of this.
Temperature Checks – We will complete a temperature check while we conduct the bag checks. Should a patron record a temperature of 37.5C or above they will be asked to wait outside for a further 10 minutes before a second temperature check is recorded. If their temperature remains 37.5C or above they will not be admitted to the theatre.
Only valid ticket holders will be admitted to the theatre.
Please note that we do not allow any hot food or alcohol purchased outside of the venue 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.
In order to minimise queuing and maintain social distancing, we are currently only offering e-tickets which you must book in advance of the performance. You will receive your e-tickets via email after booking and you can show them on a mobile device. If you experience any issues with your e-tickets or have no option to receive them, please email the box office or let a member of our front of house team know when you arrive at the theatre.
All staff and audience members over the age of 11 must wear a face covering at all times in the venue, including the auditorium.
You may remove the face covering as briefly as possible for eating and drinking. If you have an exemption for wearing a face covering please contact us ahead of your visit.
Unless you are exempt, please ensure you put on a face covering when approaching Criterion Theatre.
There are multiple hand sanitising stations throughout the theatre for your use. When you arrive we’ll ask you to sanitise your hands.
Please also wash your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds.
If you are using the NHS Test and Trace app, you’ll be able to scan our venue QR code in our foyer.
Since Stage 5 of the Government’s roadmap for return of the performing arts was reached, there are a maximum of 588 audience members at any one performance. You can expect around 15 members of our front of house to be on hand to make your visit as smooth and as safe as possible.
We have a socially distanced seating plan in place. This means we have reduced the auditorium’s capacity and some seats will be marked off or removed to ensure everyone is able to sit socially distanced.
Tickets are only available in fixed groups, where from 1 to a maximum of 6 seats are grouped together. Each group of seats must only be booked by one household or support bubble and each group is distanced by 1m+ from other groups in the auditorium. If your booking includes people from more than one household, each household will be seated separately.
By attending you are confirming that you are complying with the rule of 6 and are not mixing with another household/bubble.
You can purchase up to 6 tickets in one transaction.
Group bookings should be made by contacting our box office team. To confirm your booking, we’ll need to understand how many people are sat together in households or support bubbles as you may not all be able to sit together. We will also need the group organiser to be responsible for communicating to the full group regarding NHS Test and Trace, should this become necessary.
We require all our audience members to book to sit only with people in their household or support bubble. So if you live with your friends and family members, or have formed a support bubble with them, then the answer is yes. Otherwise, we require you to book to sit separately from them and keep a 1m+ distance from them while at the theatre.
Yes, customers who use wheelchairs will be able to book as normal.
Due to reduced capacity there is currently one wheelchair space available in the back row of the Upper Circle. Wheelchair access is through the step free entrance beside the Stage Door in Jermyn Street, behind the theatre.
If you would like to transfer to a seat please contact the box office for a full range of options available.
You will receive a link to pre-order drinks and ice creams for both pre-show and interval on the day of your visit. These will be delivered to you in your seat. You can send the link to other members of your booking so that they can also pre-order refreshments and pay separately.
While we are operating with Covid-19 safety protocols in place our bars will remain closed for audience members.
When we are able to operate without the Covid-19 restrictions in place we have the following facilities;
The Greene Bar which is located on the Stalls level, and the larger Lord Attenborough Bar which is located on the Dress Circle level. In addition to this we have a small Coffee Bar on Dress Circle level where Nespresso coffee can be purchased.
Drinks can be taken into the auditorium if they are in a plastic glass or bottle. We also sell a range of snacks that include confectionary, Pringles and ice-creams.
Yes, you will be able to use the toilet. Our facilities may look a little different to allow audience members to maintain social distance.
You may not be able to use the facilities after the performance. Please take this into account beforehand. Toilets will be cleaned throughout the day, before, during and after performances.
We are not able to run any cloakroom facilities in line with our guidance for operating safely with Covid-19 protocols in place. We are unable to make any exceptions so please do ensure all members of your party are aware of this.
Latecomers can be admitted but only at one juncture, 20 minutes into the performance.
No, to allow us to deep-clean the auditorium in between performances, we ask all audience members to leave straight away after seeing a show, even if they have a ticket for a performance later in the day.
No, in the interests of safety, we will not be allowing anyone to come to Stage Door without prior authorisation.
Our venue is professionally cleaned with additional enhanced cleaning procedures in place to make sure everything is deep cleaned before anyone enters the building. The auditorium will be cleaned between every show. Our foyer areas and high touch points will also be cleaned during shows, while audience members are in the auditorium.
Our air handling system is fed by filtered fresh air. Used air is extracted to the outside and is not recirculated. Filters are changed as part of regular, routine maintenance and we have full control over the air system – both air volume and temperature – throughout the theatre.
We’re constantly checking Government guidance and always have contingency plans in place if the guidelines change.
If Government social distancing guidance changes closer to the time of your visit and we are unable to proceed with the show you have booked for, please be assured that you will be offered a full refund on your tickets.
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.
If you start to develop symptoms of Coronavirus, you should seek assistance from the NHS 111 service, self-isolate and get tested as quickly as possible.
If you then test positive, NHS Test and Trace will ask you where you have been recently and who you have seen. They will then get in touch with anyone you may have been in close contact with to advise them on what to do next. Please do also contact the theatre.