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: Anna Smith
Vice-President: William Russell
Hon. General Secretary: Rick Jones
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin

News & reviews

Immersed in Pussy Riot

Immersed in Pussy Riot

A theatrical event is part of the controversial new Saatchi Gallery exhibition, Art Riot by Simon Tait In March 2012 two members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot were jailed for two years after the group’s performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour...

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Marnie, English National Opera

Take two by Jessica Duchen Nico Muhly’s opera is a gigantic achievement in every sense. A sprawling, complex, fascinating story feeds Nicholas Wright’s fine libretto with unusually well-rounded characters – and Muhly meets them with a score that glimmers and glows in...

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