The next “Critics at the Cri” debate, a new monthly event at the Criterion Theatre sponsored by Whatsonstage.com, will take place on Thursday 3 November 2011 at 1.15pm, featuring Toby Young, Henry Hitchings and Libby Purves.

The event sees top-string drama critics and cultural commentators debate recent openings with a live audience of theatregoers, following a similar format to TV programmes such as The Review Show, but with the unique incentive of live, on-stage access. The sessions last 45 minutes and include time for an audience Q&A.

Next week’s debate, the second following our inaugural event on 6 October, will feature Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard), Libby Purves (The Times) and Toby Young (author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People).

The panel will also include Gareth James, a blogger and regular user reviewer on Whatsonstage.com, and special guest Matt Lacey – star of the infamous ‘Gap Yah’ sketch and the author of Gap Yah Planner. The chair, as always, will be the Criterion’s Sam Hodges.

The productions they’ll be discussing are Jumpy by April de Angelis (Royal Court Theatre), Inadmissible Evidence by John Osborne (Donmar Warehouse) and Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman (Harold Pinter Theatre). 

Tickets cost £7.50 and can be booked via the Criterion website.

As part of this new media partnership, we have 20 free tickets for members of the Whatsonstage.com Theatre Club to the first two Critics at the Cri debates – plus the concessionary rate of just £5 (normally £7.50) for all other Club members – click here to book your Club discount! Other benefits of the Club, which currently costs just £30 per annum, include advance discounted booking on Whatsonstage.com Outings and Awards, Group Club Night discounts, a joining gift ticket to Thriller Live and a subscription to our bi-monthly Whatsonstage.com print magazine - click here for more info on how to join the Club!


Critics at the Cri is part of a brand new season of events and shows at the theatre, home to Fiery Angel’s long-running Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Award-winning production of The 39 Steps. Running under the umbrella title of “Criterion Presents”, the season also includes:

  • "Stories Before Bedtime", late-night readings in which well-known actors or writers will read stories or extracts from their favourite books around a central theme. The first in the series – presented by the Criterion with the Reader Organisation and Vintage Classics – will be a Halloween special of ghost stories, held on 28 October 2011 at 10.30pm.
  • "Lunchtimes With…", a one-on-one daytime series with leading theatre actors interviewed by either Mark Lawson or Sam Hodges. An interview with Olivier and Tony Award winner Mark Rylance, who returns to Shaftesbury Avenue in Jerusalem next month, launches the series on 10 November 2011 at 1.15pm.
  • The Horne Section, the comedy-jazz juggernaut will play an initial eight late-night gigs on Saturdays from 8 October to 26 November 2011 at 10.30pm.
  • Showstopper: The Improvised Musical follows its Edinburgh Fringe success and West End seasons at the Ambassadors Theatre with three late Friday nights at the Criterion on 4, 11 and 18 November 2011 at 10.30pm.
  • Book Slam, London’s only literary nightclub, comes to the Criterion for one night only on Friday 25 November at 10.30pm, to conclude the inaugural “Criterion Presents” programme.
For more information and public tickets for all “Criterion Presents” events, visit www.criterion-theatre.co.uk.