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Fear of the unknown underpins Criterion plays

Picnic At Hanging Rock, Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon, October 14-21.

The War Of The Worlds, Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon, October 27-28.

Fear of the unknown is the chilling starting point for two productions coming to the stage of Earlsdon's Criterion Theatre in October.

Picnic At Hanging Rock, a new stage adaptation of Joan Lindsay's classic Australian mystery novel, tells the story of a group of teenage boarding school girls who on a baking hot Valentine's Day in 1900 visit the famous Hanging Rock for a picnic.

Against their teachers' advice, four of the girls decide to climb the rock face - but not all of them return.

Performed with just five actors, the play vividly explores the struggle between human nature and the natural world, and as the mystery deepens offers a truly edge-of-the-seat experience for the audience.

The War Of The Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script looks back at the radio broadcast that terrified America, a live performance by the Orson Welles Company (pictured, Orson Welles at the microphone and Press reaction) of the classic sci-fi novel by HG Wells. It may have been fake news, but listeners across the nation believed that the unfolding drama of alien machines attacking US cities was real, and began fleeing in terror.

A Criterion Studio production cast will play Orson Welles's actors reading Howard E. Koch's radio script, while sound engineers re-create 'live' sound effects to place the studio audience right at the heart of the live recording session.

Tickets online at or from the theatre's 24-hour box office number, 024 7667 4719.

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