Welcome 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."
"By and large critics are at the bottom of the intellectual heap." Brian Sewell
President: Simon Tait
Vice-President: Jeffery Taylor
Hon. General Secretary: William Russell
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.
Available on Amazon.
Admission to the Circle, which is celebrated its Centenary in 2013, 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 440 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 five sections - drama, music, film, dance and the visual arts. 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.
Critic Ben Walters on why he is a critic
He tells how vocational passion inspired his new Guardian ebook on criticism.
Advice for those who aspire to be critics.
Peerless Potter Perry Wins Our Award for Services to the Arts
The first visual artist in its 25 year history to do so
25 Glorious Years.
100 Critical Moments
Circle Publications as welll as 100 Critical Moments we have published a history of the Circle - A Critical Century.
12 Years a Slave leads CC Film Awards
Steve McQueen's film collects three prizes as Gary Oldman picks up the night's top prize
Criticism Today - ICA 13 June
A panel of critics chaired by Mark Kermode discuss the issues facing criticism today.
Alison Frank looks at the problems facing critics today.
2013 National Dance Awards
List of winners
Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2013
Rory Kinnear wins two awards and the Almeida does well in Michael Attenborough's final year with awards for Ghosts and Chimerica.
National Dance Awards winner Dane Hurst talks to Marianne Gray
Going back to one's roots
London Critics’ Circle Announces 2014 Film Awards Nominations
Gary Oldman to accept the Dilys Powell Award For Excellence In Film, while Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave leads the field with 9 nominations
Music Section Awards 2013
Gongs for John Eliot Gardiner, Ryan Wigglesworth, Iestyn Davies and Yevgeny Sudbin