The Best of 2019 - Our Number Ones

The Best of 2019 – Our Number Ones

Welcome to Wales Arts Review’s Best of 2019. Over the last few weeks we have been nominating our top selections across the arts of Wales, and now we are very exited to announce our numbers ones in each category. Here are the favourites of our writers.



Anweledig (Fran Wen)

What we said: “To watch this play is an intense, harrowing, and deeply rewarding experience. It should be seen by as wide an audience as possible.”


Brundibár (Welsh National Youth Opera)

What we said: “Brundibár is about innocent children of one mind and heart triumphing over the avarice and unpleasantness of grown-ups; but this production illustrates the crushing historical baggage it will always carry.”


Reveller’s Mass (NDCWales)

What we said: “How to encapsulate a show of such bravura, such angst and elation, a show that discusses in just thirty-two minutes subjects such as our relationship to God, faith, and ritual, but also has a euphoric and dark sense of humour cutting through it from beginning to uproarious end.”


Wales: England’s Colony? by Martin Johnes (Parthian)

What we said: “Wales: England’s Colony? is a strong book, a crisp and pungent 196 pages, but also an important one. Martin Johnes takes a wrecking ball to the ideology of Wales as historical victim.”

Young Persons’ Book

The Comet and the Thief by Ruth Morgan (Gomer)

The Children’s Laureate Wales, Eloise Williams, called this book “A sweeping, theatrical and darkly atmospheric adventure.” Thrillingly set in the 18th century, the Penarth-based writer has created a world so gripping you will not be able to put the book down.

Visual Arts

David Nash: Sculpture Through the Seasons (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff)

What we said: “Nash’s work removes us from the white rooms as we unroll story upon story for his peculiar creations. By presenting such an array of phantasmagorical sculptures, Nash draws from us the most basic of human needs after feeding and copulating – storytelling.”

TV and Film

The Dynamic Duo

(Birdhouse FIlms/ BBC Wales; dirs. Sebastian Bruno and David Barnes)

What we said: “BBC Wales has a responsibility to commission programmes that tell the story of Wales. Nothing they have commissioned in recent years comes as close to doing this as The Dynamic Duo, a warm, respectful, funny, poignant, and sensitive portrait of two men who love their town.”


Everything Solved at Once – Silent Forum (Libertino Records)

What we said: “Everything Solved at Once catapults Silent Forum straight into the top tier of indie-noir, even as they begin to shift their sound into a more dance-punk oriented direction.”