An Introduction to the Drama Section
Chair: Mark Shenton
Hon Secretary: William Russell -
Contact for matters about the Drama section: firstname.lastname@example.org
The founder members of the Circle were mostly drama critics who decided, most being freelancers, that in unity lay strength and decided in 2013 under the auspices of the Institute of Journalists to set up this organisation. SR Littlewood (Daily Chronicle), JT Grein (who first brought Ibsen’s Ghosts to London in 1891) and John Parker (the 1913 editor of Who’s Who in the Theatre) arranged the first general meeting in the Hall of the Institute of Journalists when Grein took to the stage and said – “Well, gentlemen, here we are! Let us do something. I propose that we begin by electing William Archer to the chair.” Archer, who translated the plays of Ibsen, a leading critic of the day, duly became president with Littlewood as Honorary Secretary to be succeeded in 1925 by Parker, who remained in that office until his death in 1952. their very first business, and something which still matters today, was about the problems of getting review tickets from promoters.
Drama critics who have been president of the Critics’ Circle include St John Ervine (1929), Ivor Brown (1934), James Agate (1938), Sir Harold Hobson (1955), Philip Hope-Wallace (1958), JC Trewin (1964), Jack Tinker (1992-94), Jane Edwardes (2000-2002) and Charles Spencer (2008-10). The current chair of the section is Mark Shenton of The Stage.
The section's Theatre Awards were set up in 1989 after much debate about whether critics should make awards. That debate is over and now all sections do so, and the Circle as a whole presents an annual award for Services to the Arts in Britain. Since 1996 the Theatre Awards have included the Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Tinker was a much loved critic for the Daily Mail. In 2001 a new award was instituted in memory of the husband and wife critical partnership of John and Wendy Trewin which took the form of a medal for the Best Shakespearean Performance of the year. In 2016, after the death of their son Ion Trewin, it was renamed the Trewin Medal. In 2016, the award for best new or revived musical, which until 1994 had been the award for best new musical, was renamed the Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical in honour of the late Peter Hepple's outstanding contribution to the Critics' Circle of which he was hon gen secretary for many years.
The section is also affiliated to the International Association of Theatre Critics, a body with similar aims on an international scale. The IATC holds a congress every two years. Details of IATC aims and activities can be found at www.aict-iatc.org
Members of the Drama Section 2016
David Adams, Michael Arditti, Jeremy Austin, Tim Bano, Kate Bassett, David Benedict, Raymond V Bennett, Gerald Berkowitz, Clare Brennan, Mary Brennan, Georgina Brown, Mark Brown, Robert Butler, Paul Callan, Dominic Cavendish, David Chadderton, Ned Chaillet, James Christopher, Susannah Clapp, Nigel Cliff, Mark Cook, Maddy Costa, Steve Cramer, Nick Curtis, Michael Darvell, Robert Dawson Scott, Nicholas de Jongh, Rod Dungate, Jane Edwardes, Simon Edge, Susan Elkin, John Elsom, Vera Elyashev, D.L. Evans, Mark Fisher, Philip Fisher, Karen Fricker, Roger Foss, Lyn Gardner, Sharon Garfinkel, Jonathan Gibbs, Thelma Good, Robert Gore- Langton, Bill Hagerty, Rachel Haliburton, Robert Hanks, Andrew Haydon, Saeah Hemming, Ian Herbert, Robert Hewison,Henry Hitchings, Alan Hulme, James Inverne, Emma John, Ian Johns, Oliver Jones, Jeremy Kingston, Ruth Leon, Paul Levy, Brian Logan, Catherine Love, Lizzie Loveridge, Howard Loxton, Kate Maltby, Sam Marlowe, Patrick Marmion, Diana Damian Martin, Dominix Maxwell, Caroline McGinn, Joyce McMillan, Fiona Mountford, Siobhan Murphy, John Nathan, Heather Neill, Benedict Nightingale, Kevin O'Sullivan, Terri Paddock, Michael Parker, Phil Penfold, John Peter, Lucy Powell, Stewart Pringle, Kieron Quirke, David Roper, William Russell, Alice Saville, Adam Scott, Victoria Segal, Mark Shenton, Robert Shore, Ian Shuttleworth, Aleks Sierz, Neil Smith, Nick Smurthwaite, Charles Spencer, Siobhan Synnot, Maxie Szalwinska, Robert Tanitch, Paul Taylor, Matt Trueman, Tom Wicker, Holly Williams, Lyndsey Winship, Matt Wolf, Toby Young.
Michael Billington, Michael Coveney, Clive Hirschhorn, Herbert Kretzmer, Jack Lewis, Blanche Marvin, Garry O'Connor, Peter Roberts, John Russell Taylor, Irving Wardle.
Stealing a march
Gay's not quite the word
Brecht, Well and Irvine
A Close run thing
Rights and wrongs.
Money back moments
Faces of a star
With one look - the prime of Dame Maggie Smith.
With one look.......
Things are changing at the Union in Southwark and at Charing Cross Theatre
Winners of the 2015 Theatre Awards
A glittering event at the Prince of Wales Theatre -
Members of the Drama Section
Including Honorary Members
Drama section members 2016
Their demise was reported but they are alive and well
He's behind you.....
Lets hear it for the Front of House
Are you sitting comfortably?
Advice for aspiring critics
The world of the web
Random thoughts on what makes a critic.
Critics' Circle Awards 2014
Mike Bartlett, Mark Strong and Helen McCrory triumph
Young Vic has another storming year
Theatre Awards 2013
Photgraphs of some of the winners.
Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2013
Rory Kinnear wins two awards and the Almeida does well in Michael Attenborough's final year with awards for Ghosts and Chimerica.
Critical Highlights from the Past
Some award-winning favourites
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, our members have chosen some of their favourites from the past.
A Letter from the President of the IATC
The President of the IATC sends his congratulations to the Critics' Circle
100 Years of Criticism: Key Changes
Uncertain times in the world of criticism
The future of criticism and the rise of the online blogger were key themes at the Critics' Circle Centenary Conference last week
The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2012
Young Vic is the big winner (Shakespeare's Globe does well too)
Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2012
Winners will be announced on Tuesday Jan 15
The centenary year kicks off with the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2012
Critical Stages seeks sponsors
Highly-regarded webjournal is looking for funds
Prestigious, biannual webjournal has a growing readership of 50,000.
Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland
Winners announced at ceremony in Glasgow
Artists are critical of Creative Scotland at 2012 Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS)
Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland
The National Theatre of Scotland is the front runner with twelve nominations
News from the recent congress in Warsaw
Indian writer Kapila Vatsyayan wins Thalia Prize for services to theatre criticism
International Association of Theatre Critics Supports Robert Sturua
A report from Tbilisi
The IATC joins other protesters around the world to protest against the sacking of Robert Sturua from his position as artistic director of the National Theatre of Georgia.
and press releases
Funny girl comes to town.
All Change at the Stage
Some harsh words on awards
All the world's a stage
British Values should be preserved
The curse of the standing ovation
Taking it sitting down.
The Drama section's Critics' Circle Centenary Conference
100 Year of Criticism: Key Changes/Booking is now Open
Full details are on our Home Page
The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2011
National Theatre is the big winner
The 2011 Critics' Circle Theatre Awards
Winners will be announced on Tuesday 24th January
Theatrical viagra - the best awards show in town.
Three Perfect Things
Or Two Plus One
One of London's nicest small theatres and a splendid show
European Theatre Prize continued
A report on events in St Petersburg
Prizes, productions, seminars and some drunken behaviour in St Petersburg
European Theatre Prize
Critics gather for this year's event
Critics from all over the world will gather in St Petersburg for the Europe Theatre Prize ceremony, which takes place from 12-18 April.
Influential Italian critic and publisher
The death is announced of the influential theatre critic and publisher
A conference has been held to debate the future of funding for the arts at the Young Vic
500 art practioners and supporters attended a conference to debate the future of the arts at the Young Vic. At the same time a letter has been delivered to Downing Street.
Distinguished theatre and literary critic dies at 75
It was always hard to find anyone with a bad word to say about John Gross, who died on January 10 at the age of 75. How could anybody with his extensive knowledge and intellectual distinction – the Spectator called him “the best-read man in Britain” – be so unpretentiously agreeable?
The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards
Tuesday January 25 2011
The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards are 22 years old this year and will take place on Jan 25 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Entrance to this informal event is by invitation only.
The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards
2015 Theatre Awards
The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2010
The Drama Section of the Critics’ Circle held its annual awards at lunchtime today at the Prince of Wales Theatre. They were introduced by Arthur Smith and hosted by Mark Shenton, Chair of the Drama Section.