Shenton, who is also theatre critic for the Sunday Express and writes a daily online blog for The Stage, will invite other colleagues from the Circle to present awards in nine categories: Best New Play, The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or reivival), Best Actor, Best Actress, the John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance, Best Director, Best Designer, Most Promising Playwright, and The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer other than a playwright. The by-invitation-only awards ceremony is an informal gathering of award recipients, drama critics, theatre practitioners and the media, who come together to celebrate the critics' personal choices of the best in theatre, from throughout the U.K., during the last calendar year. The Critics' Circle Theatre Award winners are decided by the independent votes of Drama Section members, with no panel discussions or public/industry influence exerted.
The Critics' Circle, established in 1913, is a professional association of critics of drama, music, cinema, dance and art/architecture. Its mission is to promote the art of criticism and to uphold its integrity in practice, to foster and safeguard the interests of its members and to support the advancement of the arts.