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

Ben Nicholson; writings and ideas

Ben Nicholson; writings and ideas

As with many artists, Ben Nicholson’s letters have long been hidden away in archives, being freed only occasionally by scholars. He was a prolific, lively and informative writer of letters, notes and publications of various sorts all through his life, and this small,...

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DEAD MAN WALKING, MILLENNIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF

In recent years opera has started to pick its topics out of the newspapers, finding material in the everyday in a way Puccini would have approved. Now WNO has turned to Jake Heggie's fact-based tale, premiered in 2000, of a nun going to meet a death-row prisoner who...

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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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