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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Treasurer: Peter Cargin
Trustees: Ian Herbert, Michael Billington, Peter Cargin
News & reviews
Echoes of dreamland | by Robert Thicknesse | Anna Dennis and Carolyn Sampson are our go-to sopranos for Purcell; you’d have to look hard to find better anywhere, so getting them in harness at St John’s with the Gabrieli Consort in The Fairy Queen was a toothsome...read more
How do you conserve an entire profession’s history? Looking at the tools, say, a carpenter might leave behind him fails to convey certain achievements even if the work resulted in glorious marquetry or the conservation of a piece by André Charles Boulle. Yet this is...read more
The cast in ENO’s new production of Strauss’s biblical opera are on good form. Stuart Jackson’s Narraboth rings out in the opening scene. The eponymous Alison Cook’s voice is not used to ring out but to extremely dramatic effect as the girl caught up in a world in...read more
On 3rd October 2018, Britain's foremost artist David Hockney received the Critics' Circle award for Distinguished Service to Art. The relaxed ceremony took place over lunch at the Chelsea Arts Club, London, a beautiful venue with access through long french windows...read more
Facing Tolstoy’s massive novel combining epic and romance, Prokofiev had to choose how far he was composing a war horse and how far a pony. Sadly, a Stalinist committee designed a camel for him. The novel’s Pyotr-called-Pierre (Mark Le Brocq), Natalya-called-Natasha...read more