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

Somewhere Between Tragedy and and Broken Dreams

Somewhere Between Tragedy and and Broken Dreams

Mohammed Rouda discusses five recent films about the Syrian War It was only natural that war in Syria, which has been raging for seven years, will provide filmmakers a lot of political material to form their takes, beliefs and views on the situation. It’s the same...

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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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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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