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Judi Mark

Mark Shenton, chair of the Drama section and award winner Dame Judi Dench at the Theatre Awards. Lisat of winners and photograohs on Drama page. Picture © Stephen Pover Photography

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A Critical Century - a history of the Circle is available on Amazon as an E Book.



Welcome to the Critics' Circle website

Who we are, what we are

"I wish I were anything rather than an actor... except a critic: let me be unhappy rather than vile." W.C.Macready

 "By and large critics are at the bottom of the intellectual heap." Brian Sewell



President: Jeffery Taylor
Vice-President: Anna Smith

Hon. General Secretary: Rick Jones who can be contacted at

Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin

Trustees:  Ian Herbert, Michael Billington

A Critical Century, the history of the Circle, is available on Amazon to download as a Kindle book.

  Critical centuryAvailable on Amazon.



Admission to the Circle, established in 2913, is by invitation of the Council. The criteria stated in our rules is as follows -

Invitations are issued only to persons engaged professionally,regularly and substantially for at least two years in the writing or broadcasting (television, radio and internet) if criticism of drama, music, films, dance and the visual arts, and/or who write or broadcast informed analytical features or programmes on the discipline of the section to which they wish to belong.

There is a waiting list for the film section.

Currently we have some 540 members, mostly from the United Kingdom, the majority of whom write regularly for national and regional newspapers and magazines and some write on line. The Council is made up of representatives of our six sections - drama, music, film, dance, the visual arts and architecture, and as of 2014 literature. Our sections hold several meetings a year to vet possible new members, discuss current issues and meet artists in their particular fields.  As well as the Critics' Circle Award for Services to the Arts in Britain, voted for by all members of the Circle,  our sections have their own award ceremonies which are covered on this site. On 7 May 2013 we held our Centenary Awards for Services to the Arts, one from each section to mark the Centenary. The Film, Dance and Theatre awards are held in January or February, the Visual Arts and Music Awards tend to be later in the year.  Our Annual Award is NOT a Lifetime Achievment Award, rather it is a Thanks for Services Rendered award.

Anybody interested in joining the Literary section should contact the chair Steven O'Brien -

To contact the Critics' Circle Hon Sec Rick Jones


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