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

Don Pasquale, Royal Opera House

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...

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Agrippina, Royal Opera House

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...

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Romantic affinities

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....

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Film-Festival, Italian Style

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...

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