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

Lohengrin, Royal Opera House

Lohengrin, Royal Opera House

One-sword wonder By Lucien Jenkins One of the first decisions in any opera production is the setting. For Wagner, the old-school approach was to tog up in faux Dark Age armour. The epoch-making Chéreau-Boulez centenary Bayreuth Ring was famously costumed for Wagner’s...

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Rhondda Rips It Up, WNO on tour

Suffragette set | By Lucien Jenkins | As its contribution to the centenary of a historic widening of the franchise, WNO has commissioned a work on the subject of a south Wales suffragette. The score, from Elena Langer (whose Figaro Gets a Divorce WNO toured in 2016)...

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My Cat Yugoslavia: Review

Review by Lucy Popescu, Secretary of the Books Section   My Cat Yugoslavia by Pajtim Statovci Translated from the Finnish by David Hackston Pushkin Press   Pajtim Statovci’s remarkable debut novel is a poignant examination of the migrant-refugee experience spanning...

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Under the Skin with a live score

Anna Smith revisits the award-winning sci-fi Under the Skin - this time with a live orchestra Mica Levi’s remarkable score for Under the Skin won Technical Achievement of the Year at our Film Awards in 2013, where director Jonathan Glazer was also nominated for his...

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