The Critics’ Circle
Protecting and promoting cultural criticism since 1913
The Critics’ Circle believes impartial, professional criticism of the arts is an essential ingredient of a healthy society. The Circle today has 490 members shared between Theatre (117), Music (78), Film (151), Dance (57), Visual Arts (47) and Books (40). Admission to the Circle is by invitation from the Council.
Since 1988 the Circle has presented each year the Service to Art Rosebowl to an artist of conspicuous achievement. In 2015 the members voted for Dame Maggie Smith, in 2016 for Matthew Bourne.
The sections make their own awards in ceremonies which are significant social occasions, and hold periodic meetings and lunches to discuss their awards, propose new members, debate current issues and meet artists.
President: Mark Shenton
Vice-President: Mark Pullinger
Hon. General Secretary: Rick Jones email@example.com
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin
News & reviews
The dark, dank streets and tenements of London’s notorious borough of Whitechapel in 1888 are powerfully captured by English National Opera’s production of Jack the Ripper. Composer Iain Bell has created a rich and sumptuous score with a Romantic flavour in the...read more
In February, the Music Section presented two of its Critics’ Circle Awards. At the Hackney Empire, Mark Valencia was on hand to do the honours, presenting soprano Jennifer France her award after her incredible performance for Scottish Opera in Stuart MacRae’s new...read more
Misfortune cookies The Royal Opera has sold this production expensively and successfully not because of the work itself, however interesting (and it really is), but because of Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann as Leonora and Alvaro. Nobody likes Christof Loy’s muddled...read more
Killer queen The low point in Donizetti’s "Elizabeth and Essex" opera comes when the pit strikes up a version of the National Anthem. The howling anachronism isn’t the problem: the history of opera contains many such, and we tend to cope. The trouble is, it makes...read more
Grace notes by Robert Thicknesse As with nearly all innovations in 19th-century opera, it was Gioachino Rossini who discovered the obvious truth that Queen Elizabeth I was a born coloratura; handy for Gaetano Donizetti, who later put the queen at the heart of two...read more