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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin
News & reviews
On the pull We are not meant to sympathise with Don Pasquale, the elderly rich gent who is the central character of Donizetti’s perfectly moulded comedy premiered in Paris in 1843 and an instant hit. In the Royal Opera rep it has now arrived very well cast (and staged...read more
Mommie dearest By Paul Levy Among my regrets is that I am old enough to have seen and heard Maria Callas perform at Covent Garden, but young enough at the time to feel I could not afford the tickets. It goes some way to make up for this lapse that I have seen Joyce...read more
Bizet’s Carmen is a good example of the dark/fair contrast introduced to Romanticism by Walter Scott: here, Carmen’s (Virginie Verrez) smoking, drinking and all-round bad-girl mezzo v. Micaela’s (Anita Watson) clean-living soprano. The task for the fair-haired woman...read more
Brahms and Rachmaninov: the acceptable face of conservative programming? These two composers, each representing his own kind of retro-chic, make for a nice balance of sensual and intellectual, a celebration of the Romantic orchestra, of virtuosity and earnestness....read more
Concorto Comes of Age The biggest, industry-oriented of the world's film-festivals are often described as having a "hothouse" atmosphere—how ironic, then, that one of the most casual, laid-back and non-materialistic celebrations of cinematic art, northern Italy's...read more