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
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin

News & reviews

Death in Venice, Royal Opera House

Death in Venice, Royal Opera House

Royal crush by Tom Sutcliffe Death in Venice, Benjamin Britten’s last opera, was always a special case – special because written for the composer’s beloved (and habitually unfaithful) partner Peter Pears, but also special because of the composer’s complicated interest...

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Manon Lescaut, Royal Opera House

Enduring love Helen Wallace Scarred with the epithet “the ugliest show at Covent Garden in living memory”, Jonathan Kent’s 2014 production was never going to make an easy revival. Deprived of Jonas Kaufmann and Kristine Opolais as Des Grieux and Manon, would it even...

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Lulu, English National Opera

Enter, cry, die Lucien Jenkins Having adapted Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck for opera early in the 1920s, Alban Berg turned at the end of that decade to another revolutionary feast of sex and violence in the shape of Franz Wedekind’s Erdgeist and Die Büchse der Pandora. The...

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Les contes d’Hoffmann, Royal Opera House

Goodbye to all that Amanda Holloway It’s the final outing for John Schlesinger’s lavish 1980 production of Les contes d’Hoffmann, made for the Royal Opera on the centenary of Offenbach’s death. Like the other recently retired warhorse, John Copley’s La bohème, it’s a...

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