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The Criterion Theatre Trust

218-223 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HP

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About this venue

The Criterion Theatre (opens new tab) is an independent West End theatre situated in the heart of Piccadilly Circus. The Grade II-listed venue dates back to 1875 and is currently managed by the Criterion Theatre Trust, which uses profits from the theatre’s operations to improve its eco-credentials and carry out work to ensure the building is fit to welcome modern audiences.

Access Guide

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Theatre Information

Getting Here (Piccadilly Circus)

Getting Help and Assistance

  • There is a member of staff available for help and assistance.
  • There is a member of staff trained in British Sign Language.
  • There is not an assistance dog toilet or toileting area at the venue/nearby.
  • Water bowls for assistance dogs are available.
  • There are not mobility aids available.

Outside Access (Main Entrance)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located on Piccadilly Circus.
    • The entrance area/door is clearly signed.
    • This entrance is signed with 'Criterion Theatre'.
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access at this entrance.
    • There is a canopy or recess which provides weather protection at this entrance.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • There is a bell/buzzer.
    • The main door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.
    • The width of the opening is 165cm.
    • There is a member of staff available for assistance at this entrance.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located in front of the entrance.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is steep.
    • The ramp/slope is portable.
    • Please contact a member of staff for use of the portable ramp.
    • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The width of the ramp/slope is 70cm (2ft 4in).
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
    • There is/are 1 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are not between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 12cm.
    • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • Comments View
    • Doors are only held open for 30 minutes before a performance starts.

Outside Access (Jermyn Street Entrance)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located off Jermyn Street.
    • The entrance area/door is not clearly signed.
    • There is ramped/sloped access at this entrance.
    • There is a canopy or recess which provides weather protection at this entrance.
    • The entrance door(s) does not/do not contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • The main door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.
    • The width of the door opening is 196cm.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located immediately beyond the entrance.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is steep.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides of the ramp.
    • The lighting levels at the ramp/slope are good.

Access to Theatre Seating Areas

  • The Criterion Theatre is an underground theatre and the main access to all levels is via stairs. There is step-free access to the Upper Circle and less steps to access the dress circle and stalls via the Jermyn Street entrance.
  • Access from the entrance on Piccadilly Circus to the theatre is as follows;
  • There are 23 steps to the Upper Circle.
  • There are 32 steps to the Dress Circle.
  • There are 54 steps to the Stalls.
  • Access from the entrance on Jermyn Street to the theatre is as follows;
  • There is step-free access via ramps to the Upper Circle and designated wheelchair spaces.
  • There are 19 steps to the Dress Circle.
  • There 28 steps to the Stalls.

Theatre Foyer

  • Theatre Foyer View
    • The theatre foyer is located ahead as you enter from the main entrance.
    • There is step-free access to the theatre foyer.
    • There is step-free access throughout the foyer.
    • The type of flooring in the foyer is carpet.
    • There is flooring in the foyer which includes patterns or colours which could be confusing or look like steps or holes to some people.
    • There is low colour contrast between the walls and floor in all areas.
    • The lighting levels are moderate to good.
    • Wayfinding signage is available.
    • The nearest seating is located in the foyer.
    • The foyer does not play background music.
  • Box Office View
    • There is a/are box office within the foyer.
    • The counter(s) is/are located to the left as you enter the main entrance.
    • The nearest counter is approximately 1m (3ft 3in) from the main entrance.
    • The counter(s) is/are clearly visible from the entrance.
    • There is step-free access to the counter(s).
    • There is a clear unobstructed route to the counter(s).
    • There are not windows, TVs, glazed screens or mirrors behind the counter(s) which could adversely affect the ability of someone to lip read.
    • The counter(s) is/are placed in front of a background which is patterned.
    • The lighting levels at the counter(s) are moderate to good.
    • The height of the counter(s) is/are 124cm.
    • There is sufficient space to write or sign documents on the counter(s).
    • There is a/are lowered section(s) of the counter(s).
    • The height of the lowered section(s) at the counter(s) is 74cm.
    • There is sufficient space to write or sign documents on the lowered section(s) of the counter(s).
    • There is not a clear knee recess beneath the low/lowered section(s) of the counter(s).
    • The counter(s) is/are staffed.
    • There is not a bell to attract attention.
    • There is a hearing assistance system at the counter(s).
    • The type of system is a portable loop.
    • The hearing assistance system is signed.
    • Staff are trained to use the hearing system.

Other Floors (Main Staircase)

  • Stairs View
    • Stairs can be used to access other floors.
    • The stairs are for public use.
    • The stairs are located to the right of the main entrance.
    • The stairs are approximately 2m from the main entrance.
    • The stairs are clearly visible from the entrance.
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are foyer, upper circle, dress circle and stalls.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is a landing.
    • Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are provided on landings.
    • The lighting levels at the steps are moderate to good.

Theatre Seating Area(s) (Upper Circle)

  • Access to Seating View
    • The information below describes access to the Upper Circle.
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access to the theatre area.
    • The entrance area/door is not clearly signed.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • The door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The door(s) is/are heavy.
    • The width of the door opening is 170cm.
    • The doors is/are permanently held open before and after performances.
    • There is a member of staff available for assistance at the doors before and after performances.
    • The doors give access to Row C.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Theatre Area Information View
    • The information below describes access to the Upper Circle.
    • The type of flooring in the seating area is carpet.
    • There is flooring which includes patterns or colours which could be confusing or look like steps or holes to some people.
    • There are flip-down seats with armrests on both sides.
    • The width of the rows of seating is 50cm.
    • The lighting level before and after performances is good.
    • The nearest accessible toilet is located along the corridor leading to the Upper Circle.
    • There is step free access to a row/rows of seating.
    • The row(s) with step free access is/are row(s) C.
    • The access to the majority of seating is located either side of the seats (against wall).
    • There is stepped access to the majority of seating.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are fixed to the floor (hooped style).
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
    • The lighting level at the ramp/slope before and after performances is good.
    • The lighting level at the ramp/slope during performances is low to moderate.
    • The ramp/slope is not clearly illuminated during performances.
    • There is/are 1 to 4 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
    • The lighting level at the steps before and after performances is good.
    • The lighting level at the steps during performances is low to moderate.
    • The steps are not clearly illuminated during performances.
  • Designated Seating Area(s) View
    • There is designated seating available in this area.
    • The designated seating area(s) is/are located Row C.
    • The designated seating area(s) is/are not clearly marked/signed.
    • There is ramped/sloped access to the designated seating area(s).
    • Wheelchairs may be left with the patron.
    • The visibility of the stage from this seating area is good.
    • Companions/carers sit next to the patron.
    • The height and depth of the steps to access the seating varies. The handrails for the steps varies. The number of designated wheelchair spaces varies. There is a lip at the bottom of the ramp that gives access to the designated seating.

Accessible Toilet(s) (Upper Circle)

  • Location and Access View
    • This accessible toilet is located on the Upper Circle level.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 15m (16yd 1ft) from the Jermyn Street entrance.
    • There is ramped/sloped access into the accessible toilet.
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is high.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door may be difficult to open.
    • The door is locked by a lever twist.
    • The width of the accessible toilet opening is 93cm (3ft 1in).
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is high.
    • The door has a horizontal grab rail.
    • The contrast between the horizontal grab rail and internal door is high.
  • Toilet Features View
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 140cm x 216cm (4ft 7in x 7ft 1in).
    • The accessible toilet does not have an unobstructed minimum turning space of 150cm x 150cm.
    • The lighting levels are good.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 75cm (2ft 6in).
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • There is a spatula type lever flush.
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is high.
    • There is a/are wall-mounted grab rail(s) available.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • There is a vertical wall-mounted grab rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a horizontal wall-mounted grab rail on the opposite side of the seat to the transfer space.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) to the left of the toilet and wall is medium.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) to the right of the toilet and wall is high.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is low.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is fully functional.
    • There is not a red flashing fire alarm beacon within the toilet.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the toilet.
    • There is a/are sanitary disposal units.
    • There is a/are coat hook(s).
    • There are coat hooks in the toilet at 120cm and 180cm from the floor.
  • Additional Fixtures View
    • There is a mirror.
    • The mirror is placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The toilet has a backrest.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 48cm (1ft 7in).
    • The toilet seat colour contrast is low.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The contrast between the toilet roll holder and the wall is low.
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin and tap(s) can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
    • There are vertical wall-mounted grab rails on both sides of the wash basin.
    • The contrast between the wash basin wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is high.
    • The wash basin tap type is lever mixer.
    • There is a wall fixed soap dispenser.
    • The soap dispenser cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The height of the soap dispenser is 78cm.
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The contrast between the hand dryer and the wall is low.

Other Floors (Rear Staircase)

  • Stairs View
    • Stairs can be used to access other floors.
    • The stairs are located along the corridor from the Jermyn Street entrance.
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are Upper Circle to Dress Circle.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels at the steps are good.

Step(s) (Rear Mezzanine to Dress Circle)

  • There is a/are step(s) located to the rear of the Dress Circle.
  • The step(s) is/are used to access the Dress Circle.
  • There is/are 4 step(s).
  • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
  • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
  • The going of the step(s) is/are between 30cm and 45cm.
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides of the step(s).
  • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
  • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
  • Handrails are easy to grip.
  • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are good.

Theatre Seating Area(s) (Dress Circle)

  • Access to Seating View
    • The information below describes access to the Dress Circle.
    • There is stepped access to the theatre area.
    • The entrance area/door is not clearly signed.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • The door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The door(s) is/are heavy.
    • The width of the door opening is 140cm.
    • All doors accessing the area are similar.
    • The doors is/are permanently held open before and after performances.
    • There is a member of staff available for assistance at the doors before and after performances.
    • The doors give access to Row E.
    • There is/are 1 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
    • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The lighting level at the steps before and after performances is moderate to good.
    • The lighting level at the steps during performances is low to moderate.
    • The steps are not clearly illuminated during performances.
  • Theatre Area Information View
    • This information refers to the Dress Circle.
    • The type of flooring in the seating area is carpet.
    • There is flooring which includes patterns or colours which could be confusing or look like steps or holes to some people.
    • There are flip-down seats with armrests on both sides.
    • The width of the rows of seating is 45cm.
    • The lighting level before and after performances is good.
    • The nearest accessible toilet is located on the Upper Dress Circle.
    • There is step free access to a row/rows of seating.
    • The row(s) with step free access is/are row(s) E.
    • The access to the majority of seating is located either side of the seats (against wall).
    • There is stepped access to the majority of seating.
    • There is/are 8 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
    • The lighting level at the steps before and after performances is good.
    • The lighting level at the steps during performances is low.
    • The steps are not clearly illuminated during performances.
  • Designated Seating Area(s) View
    • There is not designated seating available in this area.
    • The nearest designated seating to this area is located in the Upper Stalls.
    • Box C is located on the Dress Circle level.
      The steps on this level vary in height and depth.
      During performances there is low level lighting illuminating the rear row and steps.

Eating and Drinking (Lord Attenborough Bar - Dress Circle Level)

  • Location and Access View
    • The following information is for the bar.
    • The bar is located on the Dress Circle level, to the rear.
    • There is stepped access to the bar.
    • For access there is a single manual door which is easy to open.
  • Service and Menus View
    • There is a bar where drinks can be ordered.
    • Menu types include: written wall menus.
    • Menus are clearly written.
    • Menus are presented in contrasting colours.
    • Staff can read menus to customers if requested.
    • Takeaway cups are available.
    • Adapted cups are not available.
    • Drinking straws are available.
    • This area does play background music.
    • Background music is only played at certain times, the volume can be adjusted if requested.
    • There is not a hearing assistance system .
  • Service Counter(s) View
    • The height of the counter is 109cm.
    • There is a moveable card machine available for payment.
    • The type of flooring in this area is wood.
  • Tables and Seating View
    • There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
    • Staff are unable to make a table accessible to wheelchair users.
    • The surface height of the highest table is 114cm.
    • All tables are permanently fixed.
    • No chairs are permanently fixed.
    • No chairs have armrests on both sides.
    • There are also high tables.
    • The type of flooring in this area is wood.
    • There is some flooring which is shiny and could cause issues with glare or look slippery to some people.
    • The lighting levels are good.

Counter (Lord Attenborough Bar Coffee Bar)

  • Counter View
    • The counter is located in the Lord Attenborough Bar.
    • There is step-free access to the counter.
    • There is a clear unobstructed route to the counter.
    • There are windows, TVs, glazed screens or mirrors behind the counter which could adversely affect the ability of someone to lip read.
    • The counter is placed in front of a plain background.
    • The lighting levels at the counter are good.
    • There is sufficient space to write or sign documents on the counter.
    • There is not a lowered section of the counter.
    • There is not a hearing assistance system at the counter.

Standard Toilet(s) (Between the Dress Circle and Stalls Levels)

  • Toilet Facilities View
    • The female and male toilets are located on the level between the Dress Circle and Stalls.
    • There is stepped access into the toilet(s).
    • The colour contrast between the external toilet door(s) and wall(s) is low.
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • An ambulant toilet cubicle is available.
    • There are horizontal wall mounted rails available on both sides of the toilet.
    • The ambulant toilet does not have vertical wall mounted grab rails.
    • The height of the wash basin(s) is 90cm.
    • The wash basin(s) tap type is sensor.
    • Lighting levels are good.

Theatre Seating Area(s) (Stalls)

  • Access to Seating View
    • The information below describes access to the Stalls.
    • There is stepped access to the theatre area.
    • The entrance area/door is not clearly signed.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • The door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The door(s) is/are heavy.
    • The width of the door opening is 120cm.
    • All doors accessing the area are similar.
    • The doors is/are permanently held open before and after performances.
    • There is a member of staff available for assistance at the doors before and after performances.
    • The doors give access to Row D and E.
  • Theatre Area Information View
    • This information refers to the Stalls.
    • The type of flooring in the seating area is carpet.
    • There is flooring which includes patterns or colours which could be confusing or look like steps or holes to some people.
    • There are flip-down seats with armrests on both sides.
    • The lighting level before and after performances is good.
    • The nearest accessible toilet is located near the Upper Stalls designated seating.
    • There is step free access to a row/rows of seating.
    • The row(s) with step free access is/are row(s) all.
    • The access to the majority of seating is located either side of the seats (against wall).
    • There is step-free access to the majority of seating.
  • Designated Seating Area(s) View
    • There is not designated seating available in this area.
    • The nearest designated seating to this area is located on the Upper Circle.

Eating and Drinking (Greene Bar - Stalls Level)

  • Location and Access View
    • The following information is for the bar.
    • The bar is located to the side of the Stalls.
    • There is stepped access to the bar.
    • For access there are double manual doors which may be difficult to open.
  • Service and Menus View
    • There is a bar where drinks can be ordered.
    • Menu types include: written wall menus.
    • Menus are clearly written.
    • Menus are presented in contrasting colours.
    • Staff can read menus to customers if requested.
    • Takeaway cups are available.
    • Adapted cups are not available.
    • Drinking straws are available.
    • This area does play background music.
    • Background music is only played at certain times, the volume can be adjusted if requested.
    • There is not a hearing assistance system .
  • Service Counter(s) View
    • The height of the counter is 108cm.
    • There is a moveable card machine available for payment.
    • The type of flooring in this area is carpet.
  • Tables and Seating View
    • There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
    • The surface height of the lowest table is 58cm.
    • The surface height of the highest table is 109cm.
    • No tables are permanently fixed.
    • No chairs are permanently fixed.
    • No chairs have armrests on both sides.
    • There are also coffee tables and high tables.
    • The type of flooring in this area is carpet.
    • There is flooring which includes patterns or colours which could be confusing or look like steps or holes to some people.
    • The lighting levels are good.