Our Best Interviews of 2019

Our Best Interviews of 2019

Every year Wales Arts Review talks to some of the leading lights in the country’s art and culture, and here is just a small selection of some of those illuminating conversations of 2019.

Megan Broadmeadow

Curator of LLAWN (Llandudno Arts Weekend), Megan Broadmeadow talked to Lin Cummins about curating the festival, the journey, the creative process and ‘a line in the sand’. in 2019, LLAWN returned for its seventh year with a new curator, a new vision, and a whole host of new artists heading for North Wales over the weekend of 13 – 15th September.

Michael Bell MBE

Neil Collins talks to the conductor of the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra about the 2019 programme.

Siân Owen

Siân Owen is an award-winning playwright whose 2019 one-woman play, How To Be Brave, draws on her experiences growing up in Newport in the 1990s; it’s a rollercoaster ride through tears and laughter. It was also Siân’s first full-length work for Dirty Protest, and marked a continued body of work for that company that focuses on real working class voices in Welsh writing.

Henry Widdicombe

Wales Arts Review talked to the founder of the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, and now one of the driving forces behind the new comedy festival in Aberystwyth.

Nick Ellis

Speakers’ Corner by Nick Ellis is the artist’s third album release in as many years, and was conceived in the heat of the historic, explosive Spring and Summer of 2017. The narrative captures the uncertain and anxious atmosphere of a divided, disillusioned and broken Britain, caught in the zeitgeist of a major cultural, social and political shift. In advance of his appearance at the Twm Sbaen Festival in Wrexham, Craig Austin spoke with Ellis about love, loss and the cultural renaissance of his home city of Liverpool.

Glenn Edwards

Ben Woolhead talked to photographer Glenn Edwards about his exhibition in Colwyn Bay, and the accompanying zine marking his work along the A470, and the lasting influence of his mentor, David Hurn.

Lionel Fanthorpe

Lionel Fanthorpe is one of the most prolific writers in the world today. With the aid of his wife, Patricia, he has written over two-hundred and fifty books covering an array of subjects from sci-fi to religion. But to describe this fascinating man as just an author does not do him justice. He is also a reverend with a love for Harley Davidson bikes, an explorer who loves unravelling the mysteries of the world, a major contributor to paranormal research and most importantly, a loyal friend and a man committed to his family.

In 2019, the life’s work of Lionel Fanthorpe was inducted into the Cardiff Metropolitan University archive. During his Inauguration, Lionel was kind enough to answer questions posed to him by a panel of first-year Creative Writing students: Alana Ellmes, Liam Fretwell and Ross Jeremiah.

Clwb Fuzz

Despite only playing their first proper gig in January of 2019, Clwb Fuzz, a post-punk grunge / garage-rock influenced quartet based at the University of South Wales, have certainly hit their stride quickly. Two promising singles and a blistering set at the Sŵn Festival have made them one of the most talked-about new bands in Wales. Joe Woodward (vocals & guitar), Emily Kocan (vocals & bass), Gruff Roberts (drums) and Hayden Lewis (guitar) agreed to meet Wales Arts Review at the City Arms in Cardiff for a wide-ranging chat and a pint of lager. Kevin McGrath was in the chair.

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson is known throughout the world for her children’s books, including The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. Here she talks to Neil Collins about her inspiration for Zog, and her pride in seeing her work adapted for the stage.

Derek Boshier

As a joint exhibition of the two artists was about to take place at Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno, S Mark Gubb talked to legendary pop artist Derek Boshier at Derek’s house in Los Angeles.

Carys Davies

Carys Davies’s short stories have been widely published in magazines and journals, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her many prizes include the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s V S Pritchett Prize, the Northern Writers’ Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and of course the Wales Book of the Year Aberystwyth University Fiction Award for West. Here she talks to Rosie Johns.