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

Semele, CBSO Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Frying tonight Richard Bratby Handel’s Semele is a one-off. Supposedly a Lenten oratorio, it fooled precisely no-one in Georgian London, where its blend of mythological hokum and extremely mild titillation was instantly recognised as Handel’s standard formula for...

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The 2016 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards

William Russell Held at the Prince of Wales Theatre on Tuesday 31 January the winners of the Critics' Circle Theatre awards were - Best New Play The Flick by Annie Baker at the National Theatre. Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical Groundhog Day at the Old Vic. Best...

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La bohème, WNO, Cardiff Millennium Centre

Rooftops of Paris Lucien Jenkins Annabel Arden’s 2012 staging of Puccini’s La bohème is revived by Caroline Chaney, with new principals (four of them making their Welsh National Opera debuts) and with Manlio Benzi, also a company debutant, having been passed the...

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