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: Mark Shenton
Vice-President: Mark Pullinger
Hon. General Secretary: Rick Jones
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin

News & reviews

Kat’a Kabanova, Royal Opera House

Kat’a Kabanova, Royal Opera House

Emergency exits Leos Janacek’s Kat’a Kabanova, premiered in Brno in 1921, is a brooding piece about adultery and death framed in a plot of older people tyrannising younger ones. Kat’a (normally rendered as Katya), sung by Amanda Majeski, and her husband Tikhon (Andrew...

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Picasso the Modernist Classicist

Picasso's sculpture at the Galleria Borghese, Rome Guidebooks refer to Rome’s Galleria Borghese as the ‘queen of all private collections’. Set in the expansive Borghese gardens, it is a collection begun in the early 17th century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese and added...

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The Magic Flute, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Destination unknown Tell it not in Gath – but Mozart’s Magic Flute is politically too incorrect in this #MeToo era. Among many cuts in Opera North’s new production, no animals get charmed by the magic of Tamino’s flute on his mission to rescue Pamina, and of course...

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Die Walküre, Royal Festival Hall

Family planning by Robert Thicknesse A lot of supporters of the London Philharmonic Orchestra couldn’t get into last February’s cycle opener (this is a pretty leisurely Ring, culminating in a full cycle in 2021) because of its “gala” billing and concomitantly ruinous...

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