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 503 members shared between Theatre (117), Music (91), Film (151), Dance (57), Visual Arts (47) and Books (40). Admission to the Circle is by invitation from the Council.

Each year since 1988, the Circle has presented the Rosebowl for Distinguished Service to the Arts to an artist of conspicuous achievement. In 2019 the members voted for David Hockney and in 2020 for Dame Janet Baker.

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: Suzi Feay
Vice-President: Robert Thicknesse
Hon. General Secretary: Rick Jones criticscircleallsections@gmail.com
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin

News & reviews

Macbeth, Royal Opera

Macbeth, Royal Opera

By Robert Thicknesse How do you turn a Hammer horror into a tragedy? It confronts every director of Verdi’s take on Shakespeare. Part of it is that the mid-19th century had such different ideas of drama (and of Shakespeare) from us, another that Verdi (and his...

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THE VALKYRIE, LONDON COLISEUM

The question of when and where to set Wagner’s Ring is an entirely open one, since like Arthur and Lear, it is everywhere and nowhere. Richard Jones (director) and Stewart Laing (set and costume designer) answer this by locating Act 1 of Valkyrie in a Wickes shed, Act...

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RIGOLETTO, ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

The Royal Opera’s new Rigoletto has the casting is just right. Lisette Oropesa’s Gilda (who shares the role with Rosa Feola) manages the difficult balance between the coloratura writing of the part and the youthful innocence of the role. After all, she mustn’t be...

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