Dame Maggie Smith addresses the critics lunch 31 March 2016 Books Dance Drama Film Music Visual Arts

March 2016: at the annual Critics' Circle lunch, Dame Maggie Smith accepts the Circle's highest honour for the contribution she continues to make to the arts. Picture © Elliott Franks

 

The Critics Circle

Welcome to the Critics' Circle website

Who we are, what we are

President: Jeffery Taylor
Vice-President: Anna Smith

Hon. General Secretary: Rick Jones who can be contacted at criticscircleallsections@gmail.com

 
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin

Trustees:  Ian Herbert, Michael Billington

 

The Critics’ Circle has existed since 1913 to protect cultural criticism from the censor and the despot. It was at first an offshoot of the Institute of Journalists on Fleet Street and has aways had the critics of the daily national papers as the core of its membership. The Circle views criticism as an arm of free speech and an essential ingredient of a healthy society. From small beginnings, the Circle today has 490 members shared between Theatre (117), Music (78), Film (151), Dance (57), Visual Arts (47) and Books (40). As an association, it provides numerical strength to its members, most of whom labour as unrepresented freelancers. After much philosophical debate in the 1980s, the Circle decided to become an award-giving organisation and since 1988 has presented each year the Service to Art Rosebowl to an artist of conspicuous achievement whom the President toasts by raising the Charles Dickens Goblet to him or her at the annual luncheon usually held in London. In 2015 the members voted for Dame Maggie Smith. The sections also make their own awards, some of them in ceremonies which have become siginificant social occasions. The sections hold periodic meetings to discuss their awards, propose new members, debate current issues and sometimes meet artists.

Admission to the Circle is by invitation from the 28-member Council. The rule book states:

Invitations are issued to persons engaged regularly and substantially for at least two years in the writing or broadcasting (television, radio and internet) of criticism of drama, music, film, dance, visual arts and literature or who write or broadcast informed analytical features or programmes.

 

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

www.amazon.co.uk


 

Latest Articles


The Critics Circle

The cosy surrealism of Postgate and Firmin

Clangers, Bagpuss & Co, V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA, 19 March-9 October 2016
David Buckman

Published: 24/05/2016

visual-arts
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Battle songs

In Parenthesis
Welsh National Opera
Wales Millennium Centre
13 May
Lucien Jenkins

Published: 20/05/2016

music
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Fairytale Flute

Die Zauberflöte
Royal Festival Hall
10 May
Jessica Duchen

Published: 11/05/2016

music
picture

Stealing a march

Gay's not quite the word
William Russell

Published: 09/05/2016

drama
The Critics Circle

Doing the rounds

Hon Gen Sec

Published: 09/05/2016

general
The Critics Circle

Doing the rounds

Hon Gen Sec

Published: 02/05/2016

general
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A tenor short

Tannhäuser, Royal Opera House, April 29th, 2016
Alexandra Coghlan

Published: 01/05/2016

music
The Critics Circle

ENO appoints Daniel Kramer new Artistic Director

Tom Sutcliffe

Published: 29/04/2016

music

CONTACT

Enquiries about the Critics' Circle should be made to the Hon Gen Sec Rick Jones by email criticscircleallsections@gmail.com or telephone 020 8698 2460. 

The HISTORY

The Critics’ Circle is the oldest critics' organisation in the world and to date has over 500 members who work in the media throughout the United Kingdom.

Read more...

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The Archive

Hon Gen Sec

Published: 29/02/2016

The Critics Circle

Critical Moments

Published: 08/03/2014

The Critics Circle

A Critical Century

The history of the Circle

Published: 05/02/2014

The Critics Circle

Picture Gallery - 33rd Circle Film Awards

20 January 2013
William Russell

Published: 22/01/2013

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Picture Gallery - 33rd Circle Film Awards

20 January 2013
William Russell

Published: 22/01/2013

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Picture Gallery Five

Pictures from our 2011 Film, Dance and Drama Awards presented in January 2012
William Russell

Published: 25/01/2012

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Picture Gallery Four

Circle Annual Awards Lunch
William Russell

Published: 10/08/2011

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The Beginning of the Circle

The reports in The Stage about the setting up of the Circle
William Russell

Published: 09/06/2011

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Picture Gallery Three

Circle Film Awards, BFI Southbank, February 10, 2011
Willliam Russell

Published: 10/04/2011

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Picture Gallery Two

A collection of pictures from our past film awards.
William Russell

Published: 23/03/2011

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Picture Gallery One

A collection of pictures taken at Circle events
William Russell

Published: 16/03/2011

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George Dannatt - 1948

Our oldest member's memories
Peter Cargin

Published: 16/03/2011

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Circle Dinners and Film Awards Vintage Photo Gallery

Stars and critics from the 1940s to the 1980s
Peter Cargin

Published: 07/01/2011

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Difficult Times For Critics - From The First!

Peter Cargin

Published: 16/12/2010

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The Circle Archives

Published: 04/12/2010

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The Critics' Circle Awards for Services to the Arts

List of Winners

Published: 04/12/2010