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

Der Freischütz, Stuttgart State Opera

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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Eugene Onegin, Mid Wales Opera

Slavs to love | By Richard Bratby | The Courtyard, Hereford, Tuesday 10 April 2018 The second full-scale production by Mid Wales Opera under Richard Studer and Jonathan Lyness’s leadership is Eugene Onegin, and it’s a shrewd choice. How shrewd? Well, as Tchaikovsky...

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Coraline, Barbican Theatre

Button for punishment | by Tom Sutcliffe | The first rule for successful opera composition is to choose a story involving characters that can be believable when they tell us about themselves, which of course is not the only reason they are there in the story. Opera is...

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