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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin
News & reviews
All aboard Benjamin Britten’s 1958 account of the flood described in Genesis draws on the mediaeval mystery plays, in which obedience is a key theme. While other human beings are busy being wicked, Noah is obedient to God’s command and starts building the ship without...read more
Barocking By Robert Thicknesse No apologies for writing about a student show: over the past 20 years some of my best evenings have been spent at such performances, and they provide a pretty decent proportion of the staged productions available through the country (at...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more