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 503 members shared between Theatre (117), Music (91), Film (151), Dance (57), Visual Arts (47) and Books (40). Admission to the Circle is by invitation from the Council.
Each year since 1988, the Circle has presented the Rosebowl for Distinguished Service to the Arts to an artist of conspicuous achievement. In 2019 the members voted for David Hockney and in 2020 for Dame Janet Baker.
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: Suzi Feay
Vice-President: Robert Thicknesse
Hon. General Secretary: Rick Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin
News & reviews
One of the greatest living stars of British classical music, the mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker CH DBE, was voted the winner of the 2019 Critics' Circle Rosebowl by the 500 members of the Circle. Regrettably both the announcement and the award have been delayed by the...read more
Robert — ‘Bob’ — Layton, the celebrated musicologist, author and, for 31 years, a BBC Radio Producer, died on 9th November at the age of 90. He was a member of the Critics’ Circle from 1966. He contributed regularly to a wide variety of publications but as a critic...read more
For more than a hundred years, pianists have been doing battle in the seaside town of Hastings on the south coast of England. Originally, the competition featured local players in the context of a general music festival but eventually the keyboard section became...read more
In Ayad Akhtar’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, his principle character, Amir, a Pakistani-American lawyer, admits feeling a “blush of pride” at 9/11. Akhtar was exploring the crisis of identity felt by many Muslim-Americans in the wake of the terror...read more
The public know Turner as a painter of landscapes capturing light, weather, mist, storms and, in the words of his fellow artist John Constable, of painting with ‘tinted steam’. Yet Tate Britain’s current exhibition Turner’s Modern World reveals the artist in a whole...read more