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

Under the Skin with a live score

Anna Smith revisits the award-winning sci-fi Under the Skin - this time with a live orchestra Mica Levi’s remarkable score for Under the Skin won Technical Achievement of the Year at our Film Awards in 2013, where director Jonathan Glazer was also nominated for his...

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Der Freischütz, Stuttgart State Opera

Into the woods | By Robert Thicknesse | If you want to see Weber’s seminal Romantic opera these days, you pretty much have to go to Germany. Just as well, too – imagine the camp horrors that would be inflicted on it here out of a mixture of embarrassment and snobbery....

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Chess, English National Opera

The Benny & Bjorn supremacy | By Alexandra Coghlan | In a genre of unlikely gambits – cats, nuns, the assassins of American presidents, a children’s train set – is there a less obvious subject for a musical than chess? There’s a certain wilful brilliance to taking a...

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