SINCE 1880

The Critics Circle

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The Critics’ Circle

We are the oldest critics’ association in the world and celebrated our centenary last year. The Circle was set up in 1913 by a group of leading drama and music critics of the day, and over the century we grew in size so that today we have some 440 members drawn from the press, broadcasting and on line media throughout the United Kingdom. The Circle has five sections – Drama, Music, Film, Dance and Visual Arts and Architecture - and this year we hope to add a new Literary Critics section. We exist to promote the art of criticism, to uphold its integrity and to foster and safeguard the professional interests of our members.

Since 1988 we have presented an annual award for services to the arts voted for by all the members of the Circle. Past winners have included Peter Hall, David Lean, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Alan Bennett, Alicia Markova, Alfred Brendl and Stephen Sondheim. The winner this year is the artist Grayson Perry. All our sections run awards of their own voted for by their members.

Membership of the Circle by invitation of the Council is open to persons who have been engaged professionally, regularly and substantially for at least two years in the writing or broadcasting (television, radio and the internet) of criticism of drama, music, films, dance and the visual arts.
Contacts – William Russell, Hon Gen Secretary –

Peter Cargin, Hon Treasurer –

More information is available on our web site –