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 criticscircleallsections@gmail.com
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin

News & reviews

THE CONSUL, MILLENNIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF

THE CONSUL, MILLENNIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF

No waiting Second up in WNO’s imaginative ‘Rhyddid/Freedom’ season is Gian Carlo Menotti’s political opera from 1949. Well known to American TV audiences as the composer of the children's Christmas TV opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, Menotti is hardly a household...

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La damnation de Faust, Glyndebourne

Byway to hell All Berlioz’s few operas are highly original in structure and intention – a characteristic encouraged by this brilliant composer’s obsession with Shakespeare as a model alien in French culture. But his Damnation de Faust is not an opera, more like...

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Iphigénie en Tauride, Stuttgart State Opera

Bad trips down Memory Lane by Robert Thicknesse Opera in Britain can feel pretty peripheral, never more so than when you catch one of these classic productions that do the rounds of mainland Europe. It feels like conversation we are not part of – and, indeed, the idea...

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Whitley wins Music award

At the end of a thrilling performance of her new song cycle, Kate Whitley received the 2018 Critics' Circle Award for Emerging Talent: Composer. Her Six Charlotte Mew Settings were sung by two outstanding British artists, bass Matthew Rose and soprano Katherine...

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Billy Budd, Royal Opera House

Billy Budd is Britten’s second opera for his beloved tenor partner, and the Royal Opera got one thing right for this somewhat dubious new production by Deborah Warner: namely Toby Spence in Peter Pears’s role, Edward Fairfax Vere, captain of HMS Indomitable....

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