Blwyddyn newydd dda/Happy New Year from everyone at Wales Arts Review! As we kick off an exciting new year of arts and culture in Wales, we’ve been chatting to our contributors to find out what they’re most looking forward to in 2023 (spoiler alert: May is set to be a packed month!). So grab your diary as we take a quick look at a few of the things our contributors can’t wait to see this year.
The Sleeping Stones by Beatrice Wallbank (Firefly Press)
The Sleeping Stones will be the debut from author Beatrice Wallbank and promises an exciting and emotional MG island adventure that will appeal to fans of The Weather Weaver and The Storm Keeperʼs Island. Drawing in elements of Welsh mythology, The Sleeping Stones is set to be a book to look out for in 2023.
Romeo and Juliet at the Sherman Theatre
As part of the Sherman’s 50th anniversary year it will stage Romeo and Julie by Gary Owen, in a co-production with the National Theatre. A modern Cardiff love story inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Julie reunites the Olivier Award-winning partnership of writer Gary Owen and former Sherman Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan responsible for the modern classics Iphigenia in Splott, Killology and The Cherry Orchard. Callum Scott Howells (It’s a Sin, Cabaret) plays Romeo and Rosie Sheehy (Bird Sherman Theatre, King John, RSC) plays Julie. Tickets are available here.
Truth or Dare at Theatr Clwyd (27 Apr-13 May)
Theatr Clwyd produce a brand-new production, Truth or Dare. Truth is five teasing plays to push your buttons. Secrets and lies when the lights are out. Do you want to hear it? Can you handle it? Book Truth to find out.
Dare is five mischievous plays asking what makes you pop. Spin the bottle, risk it all. Do you Dare to watch? These 10 brand new plays will showcase incredible Welsh talent.
Theatr Clwyd have commissioned some of the best playwrights to create these short shows which will feature both English and Welsh. Each event will have 5 brand new plays lasting approximately 10 minutes each. All shows will be captioned with accessible performances available.
The Magic Flute – Directed by Daisy Evans, Welsh National Opera (5th March – 27th May)
2023 will see WNO’s new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute ‘conceptualised’ and directed by Daisy Evans. WNO’s new production promises to take this enchanting fairy-tale and give it a modern twist. Details are available here.
Cardiff Poetry Festival (May)
Run by the team at Seren, Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival is an annual celebration of poetry, workshops, panel discussions and debate based in the heart of Cardiff. Committed to accessibility, their 2022 event was streamed online and recordings of their events are now available to watch back on demand with an On Demand Pass. Visit their website for more information and for updates about Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival 2023, which will return in May: cardiffpoetryfestival.com
Pulse | Pwls – National Dance Company Wales (March – May)
National Dance Company Wales will present two new thrilling new dance pieces as part of Pulse in the Spring of 2023. Marcos Morau’s Waltz, which opens with a haunting waltz playing in the distance and Say Something by Sarah Golding & Yukiko Masui (SAY), which promises to explore what it means to “represent”. Tickets are already on sale.
Focus Festival (4th – 6th May)
International multi-venue showcase festival, FOCUS Wales, takes place in Wrexham, placing the music industry spotlight firmly on the emerging talent that Wales has to offer the world, alongside a selection of the best new acts from across the globe. FOCUS Wales 2023 will mark the festival’s 12th edition, and will welcome over 20,000 people to the town, building upon 2022′s record attendance for a festival which centres on music, film and the arts. Details available here.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Theatr Iolo come together in March of this year for a production in association with Pontio. Pijin/Pigeon is a brand new play, based on the novel by Alys Conran and adapted for the stage by Bethan Marlow. The play will tour venues across Wales in March and promises “a gripping tale about growing up, the power of words, friendship and just how far people will go for love”, set against a backdrop of North Wales in the 1990s. Information about tickets and venues can be found here.
Pax at MOMA Gallery (February – April)
This new exhibition, featuring work by a range of contemporary artists, will commemorate the Women’s Peace campaign of 1923. The campaign was a remarkable Wales-wide effort involving almost every household, through peace activists going door-to-door, supported through county and community organisers of ‘the League’. A delegation, led by WLNU Chair Annie Hughes-Griffiths, travelled from Wales to America in March 1924 for a 2 month ‘Peace Tour’ of the States, building support through American women’s organisations involving over 60 million people. Further information about the exhibition is available from MOMA, here.