In 1870 caterers Spiers and Pond acquired the White Bear Inn site and adjoining properties between Jermyn Street and Piccadilly Circus. Thomas Verity was commissioned to design a new development consisting of a large restaurant, dining rooms, ballroom and galleried concert hall.
However, after building work commenced it was decided to alter the proposed concert hall to a theatre which opened in March 1874. The theatre boasts an almost perfectly preserved Victorian auditorium with a majority of the venue underground.
The theatre closed for major refurbishment from 1989 until it reopened in October 1992 and was most notably home to productions of the Reduced Shakespeare Company from 1996 to 2005.
The theatre is currently managed by the Criterion Theatre Trust.
Transport / Accessibility
Nearest Underground: Piccadilly Circus
Nearest Rail: Charing Cross
Bus Routes: 6, 12, 13, 15, 22B, 38, 53, 88, 159
Wheelchair Access: Yes