Criterion Theatre Best Seats and Seating Plan

Posted on 20 June 2024

Initially intended as a concert hall, the Criterion Theatre first opened in 1873 and is the only West End Theatre that is sited almost entirely underground level - the Upper Circle in the auditorium isn’t even at street level! Ten years after opening the theatre underwent renovations in order to meet new standards of ventilation enforced by the Metropolitan Board of Works. The building, excluding the auditorium, was rebuilt extensively between 1989 and 1992 but the auditorium was in good condition so wasn’t included in the refurbishment and remains original.

What are the best seats at the Criterion Theatre?

The Criterion Theatre auditorium seats 588 over the three levels of its auditorium, consisting of Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle. The front rows in the stalls offer a good view of the stage, although it is to be noted that this area of seating is not steeply raked. The Dress Circle again offers good views of the stage, other than the designated restricted viewing seats which are due to the number of pillars in this section supporting the Upper Circle. The Upper Circle provides unrestricted views of the stage from all seats.

Criterion Theatre seating plan

How many seats are at the Criterion Theatre?

There are 588 seats at the Criterion Theatre across the three levels of its auditorium.

Are there accessible seats at the Criterion Theatre?

Due to the theatre being below street level step free access to the auditorium is only available to the Upper Circle, with the Dress Circle being one further level down, the Stalls three levels below Jermyn Street level and four floors below Piccadilly Circus. The building is a Grade II listed building and therefore does not have a lift. There are 23 steps from the main entrance down to the Upper Circle, 32 steps down to the Dress Circle and 54 to the Stalls. Although there are still some steps, alternative access via the fire exit stairways via Jermyn Street is available upon request. There is one accessible toilet in the theatre which is located on the Upper Circle level. The theatre offers a hearing loop system and British Sign Language and Relaxed Performances appear as a regular occurrence in the theatre's programme.

What shows are on at the Criterion Theatre?

The Criterion Theatre is currently the home to the critically acclaimed British rom-com Two Strangers (Carry A Cake Across New York).