West End

West End Guide: Criterion Theatre Seating Plan

Navigating the Criterion Theatre Seating Plan


The Criterion Theatre was first constructed in 1873 and was considered quite big for the time. Unfortunately, with the passage of time and rampant growth, the 588 seats that are spread across three levels, make the theatre one of the smallest in West End. If you're wondering what each section of the Criterion Theatre entails, we have just the thing for you. Here's our section-wise breakdown of all three seating areas.This information will be helpful if you're planning to watch The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.

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Criterion Theatre - Recommended Seats

Value for money seats
Middle seats in row A of Upper Cicle; Middle row seats in Dress Circle.
Best views of the stage
Most seats in the Central Stalls section; Row A (12-21) in Dress Circle.
Sufficient legroom
Stalls - All aisle/central seats

Criterion Theatre Stalls

The stalls section is the largest in the theatre, with 365 seats in total. This section is located below the ground level and features support pillars throughout, giving it an unusual shape. These pillars are located near row J, M and N, causing the view from rows L to S to be restricted. There are no aisles separating the seats and the rows are narrow and straight. Since there's no natural curve in the rows, the end seats often cause restricted view. Another peculiar aspect of the stalls is that the seats aren't raked, so the audiences in the front rows can block the view for the rear row seat members. The overhang for the dress circle section begins at row H but the view isn't all that affected since it curves to a horseshoe shape at row M.

The stalls feature 17 rows in total, labelled from A to S. Seats in this section are numbered in the range of 1 to 24, depending on the length of the row. There are two box seats on either side of the section housing two seats each.

Check out the real-time seat availability of the Stalls in the Criterion Theatre.

Criterion Theatre Dress Circle

With only 151 seats, the dress circle is the second largest section in the theatre. The first of two elevated levels, the dress circle offers a generally great look at the stage. The great view can be attributed to the small size of the section, with only six and a half rows that curve in a horseshoe shape. Like the stalls, there are three support pillars in this section as well, which partially obstruct the view. Unlike the stalls though, the dress circle is well raked, which means the view is not obstructed for patrons sitting in the rear rows. The overhang for upper circle begins from C and seats at end of row C offer a restricted view and should be avoided. The dress circle has seven rows in the range of A to G with seats numbered between 1 to 29.

Check out the real-time seat availability of the Dress Circle in the Criterion Theatre.

Criterion Theatre Upper Circle

The final seating section is the upper circle with a miniscule 65 seats that are spread across three rows. These rows are labelled A, B and C and numbered in the range of 5 to 30. In terms of the view offered, this section offers a pleasant surprise. The centre seats in rows B and C offer a clean view of the stage but the corner seats of these rows should be avoided as the view is restricted and sight lines are quite bad. Seats in row A offer limited legroom and are quite inexpensive as a result.

Check out the real-time seat availability of the Upper Circle in the Criterion Theatre.

Which Seats Offer The Best View?


Given the unique structure of the Criterion Theatre and the many pillars that obstruct the view in both the stalls and the dress circle, finding the best seats can be a tad bit challenging. In our opinion, seats in the central stalls section offer a fantastic view of the stage without any obstructions. Moving to the second section, row A in the dress circle also has some of the best seats in the house. Typically, seats 12 to 21 in row A are the ones you should try to get. There are no premium seats in the upper circle, so you can skip that section entirely.

Which Seats Offer the Best Value for Money?


The seats mentioned in the previous section are the best in the theatre but they also cost the most. If you're unwilling to spend upwards of £70 for a single ticket, you should consider value for money seats. These seats don't cost quite as much as your premium seats but still offer a pretty decent view of the stage. The first choice would be the middle seats in row A of the upper circle.

While this section is the furthest from the stage, there are no obstructions in its line of sight, which means the view offered is singularly great and the cost miniscule compared to premium seats. You can also opt for the support pillar seats since they are heavily discounted for most performances and offer a partially restricted view. You can also opt for the middle row seats in the dress circle section if you're looking for value for money seats.

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