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

Billy Budd, Royal Opera House

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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The Dance Awards

The 19th National Dance Awards The Barbican, London: 18th February 2019 The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2018 were presented today at a ceremony in London, hosted by Mbulelo Ndabeni and Cira Robinson. Mark Baldwin OBE was awarded the De Valois Award for...

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Kat’a Kabanova, Royal Opera House

Emergency exits Leos Janacek’s Kat’a Kabanova, premiered in Brno in 1921, is a brooding piece about adultery and death framed in a plot of older people tyrannising younger ones. Kat’a (normally rendered as Katya), sung by Amanda Majeski, and her husband Tikhon (Andrew...

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Picasso the Modernist Classicist

Picasso's sculpture at the Galleria Borghese, Rome Guidebooks refer to Rome’s Galleria Borghese as the ‘queen of all private collections’. Set in the expansive Borghese gardens, it is a collection begun in the early 17th century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese and added...

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