Our Top Reviews of 2016

Our Top Reviews of 2016

One of the reasons Wales Arts Review was founded in 2012 was to contribute to the improvement of the critical landscape for the arts in Wales, and to help raise the standard of debate and critical writing. Since then we have worked hard to publish critical work and reviews that are worth reading in their own right, regardless of whether or not you have an interest in the subject. So, with that in mind, here is a quick selection of highlights of reviews from 2016. These reviews are not chosen because of the success of the art being reviewed, but rather for the standard of writing and engagement on display by our writers. And by no means is this a list of rave reviews. Some are very positive, some, however, are not.


Pixies in Concert by Gary Raymond

David Bowie’s Blackstar by Gray Taylor

BBC NOW: Dutilleux 100 by Steph Power

Meilyr Jones Live by John Lavin

BBC Young Musician of the Year by Nigel Jarrett


Philip Gross’ Lovesongs of Carbon by Helen Calcutt

Holly Müller’s My Own Dear Brother by Durre Shahwar

Alys Conran’s Pigeon by Bill Rees

Mike Parker’s Diary of a Controversial Election by Lewis Davies

Herman Koch’s Dear Mr M by Rabeea Saleem

The Good Immigrant by Durre Shahwar


Dirty Grandpa by Gary Raymond

Nick Cave: One More Time With Feeling by Sophie McKeand

Childhood of a Leader by Gary Raymond

The Library Suicides by Emma Schofield

I, Daniel Blake by Kevin McGrath


Mariinsky Ballet by Cath Barton

Ballet Cymru’s Sleeping Beauty by Jemma Beggs

Lucy Trimmer Does Wales by Jane Oriel


Edward Thomas: In Pursuit of Spring by Jo Mazelis

The Eye Festival by Kate Mercer

Diane Arbus by Jo Mazelis

Roger Tiley’s Changing Places by Nigel Jarrett

Jeremy Moore and Pembrokeshire by Adam Somerset


Vale of Glamorgan Festival by Steph Power

Van Morrison and Bryn Terfel by Kevin McGrath

Inge Thomson by Cath Barton

Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares by Jane Oriel

Gregynog Festival by Steph Power


WNO’s La Voix humaine by Steph Power

WYNO’s Kommilitonen! by Steph Power


Gareth Thomas at Mametz Wood by Gary Raymond

Soldier Poets of the Somme by Gary Raymond

The People Versus OJ Simpson by Gary Raymond


Velvet Underground New York Extravaganza by Craig Austin

War’s Hell: The Battle of Mametz Wood in Art by Gary Raymond

Beep by The Afternoon Critic

Gwyn Vivian Gallery Opening by Emma Smith


Wonderman by Gary Raymond

No Man’s Land by Jemma Beggs

The Weir by Emily Garside

Cosy by Gary Raymond

License To Ill by Craig Austin

The Borrowers by Jemma Beggs