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

Popcorn Double Feature

(or, Can You Smell His Sweat?): Mark E Smith, 1957-2018 by Neil Young Among the bylines I've accumulated in my career as a critic, the one of which I'll always be most proud is the issue of Slovenian film-journal KINO!, published in April 2008. On the cover of the...

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Iolanthe, English National Opera

Fairy bad by Tom Sutcliffe English National Opera has had mixed experience with Gilbert & Sullivan - apart from Jonathan Miller’s never-fading Mikado brilliantly (and very distinctively) designed by Stefanos Lazaridis. Who now remembers Ken Russell’s tedious Princess...

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