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Wales Arts Review 3.23




Welcome to Wales Arts Review 3.23. This week we lead with an exclusive and very insightful interview with co-creator and producer of hit TV thriller Y Gwyll/Hinterland, Ed Thomas. Cerith Mathias caught up with Ed in Cardiff during the filming of Series 2 of the ‘Welsh Nordic Noir’ and talked about the success of the show and what the writers have in store for the new series.

On November 1st 2014, Wales Arts Review held its second biennial Critics’ Roundtable at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff (supported by Arts Council Wales); a day of passionate debate about the arts in Wales. Today we bring you a series of podcasts documenting those debates, with the contributions of some of the nation’s leading arts figures including a memorable reading of Greatest Welsh Novel winner Un Nos Ola Leuad from Siân Phillips. Click here for a full rundown of the podcasts, available for streaming and download.

In another excellent piece from Hannah Lawson, Wales Arts Review looks at October’s Black History Month Wales, at its many successes, but also at the problems it encountered in an age of cutbacks. Hannah, who grew up in Botswana, offers an engrossing personal reflection on the work that made up the nation-wide festival, and its shortfalls.

As our debut anthology of new Welsh short fiction goes on sale (you can buy it here), we showcase the book with this new story from Rhian Elizabeth, ‘Our Cardboard Binoculars’. And here, as part of the series, is John Lavin’s interview with Rhian, who talks about her new novel and her craft.

In our longform essays, Jean James has for us a beautifully evocative piece about the connections between writing and landscape, from Swansea to Donegal.

As well as all of that, we still have a healthy review section this issue.

In theatre, Phil Morris was in Newport and Bristol for NTW’s new immersive theatre production, Bordergame, designed to explore the immigrant experience. Gary Raymond got to see a new look Ballet Cymru do some fresh things with their signature production, Beauty and the Beast, at the Riverfront in Newport. You can also read the first in a series of Wales Arts Review Company Profiles, as Ballet Cymru’s Development Office Patricia Vallis tells us all about the history and workings of one of Wales’ most successful independent dance companies. And Cath Barton previews the hotly anticipated ‘Christmas show for grown ups’, Caroline Sabin’s Blood on the Snow.

Steph Power was at the Wales Millennium Centre for Mariinsky Opera’s excellent concert performance – this conducted by the controversial Valery Gergiev – of Prokofiev’s opera Betrothal in a Monastery; and she was also at Llandaff Cathedral to see the Mariinsky Opera Chorus perform Rachmaninov’s stunning Vespers.

In visual art, Wales Arts Review debutant James Geary reviews an exhibition of new paintings from Ellie and Steve Young at BayArt in Cardiff.

In books, Gavin Goodwin reads the new poetry collection from Ric Hool, A Way of Falling Upwards; Justin Jones looks over a powerful short story collection from Jaki McCarrick, The Scattering; Carolyn Percy casts an eye over the much-commented on Bone Clocks from David Mitchell; and Jim Morphy takes on a fascinating story in Teleri Bevan’s Esme: Guardian of Snowdonia.


Wales Arts Review gratefully acknowledges funding from the Arts Council Wales ‘Sharing Together’ initiative for our Critics’ Roundtable, and wishes to thank Literature Wales and the Wales Millennium Centre for their support of this event.




Wales Arts Review Managing Editor Phil Morris will be interviewing writer-actor-director Steven Berkoff at St. David’s Hall on Tuesday 2nd December. During An Evening with Steven Berkoff the renowned playwright and legendary Hollywood bad-guy will discuss his work, and share anecdotes from a 50-year career that includes an acclaimed stage adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis to film roles in Rambo II, Octopussy and Beverly Hills Cop. St. David’s Hall are offering Wales Arts Review readers a special rate of £14 per ticket (plus the usual booking fee) for this event.

Call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444 and quote BERKOFF to benefit from this offer, or book via the St. David’s Hall website here – and enter ‘BERKOFF’ in the promotion code box.

Wales Arts Review’s A Fiction Map of Wales West Wales Launch.

25th November at 7pm, Founders Library, Lampeter Campus, University of Wales, Trinity St David

Join acclaimed writers Cynan Jones, Carly Holmes, Gary Raymond and Rosalind Hudis (reading from the work of Dic Edwards), for a night of readings from the Wales Arts Review short story anthology, A Fiction Map of Wales. The event will be mediated by Wales Arts Review fiction editor, John Lavin.

Tickets £2/ £3 (counts as discount off the short story collection, A Fiction Map of Wales).

There will be a complimentary glass of wine, plus soft drinks and snacks provided.

Wales Arts Review and Newport Young Creatives Workshops

Free creative workshops designed and delivered by our top writers. Follow the link and register for details.

ArtFreedomWales Free Speech Hearing

Wales Arts Review will be at this vital afternoon of discussion at Chapter Arts Centre on November 27th. Click on the link for details and tickets.

Banner illustration by Dean Lewis

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