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

King Arthur, St John’s, Smith Square

King Arthur, St John’s, Smith Square

Brexcalibur by Robert Thicknesse Who will write the King Arthur for another fractured age? Purcell’s sweet pageant is unlikely to serve as a rallying point, I fear. But that’s surely what it was in 1691, as England and Britain began a long climb out of a half-century...

read more

Don Pasquale, Royal Opera House

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

Rigoletto, Glyndebourne on Tour

Add baby, remove bathwater Glyndebourne’s touring company used to serve two purposes; partly it was a way of spreading the quality of Glyndebourne’s own festival productions more widely around the country, but more importantly it helped some talented British...

read more