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John McGrath accepting Best Director. Photo: Mei Lewis


Sherman Cymru, Cardiff

Sat 26 Jan


The arts in Wales remains vibrant, rich and always shifting with mountains of talent, and last Saturday, individual artists and organisations in theatre, dance and opera were lauded as the inaugural Theatre Critics In Wales Awards took place.

Hosted at Sherman Cymru in suitably dazzling fashion, the awards showcased a wealth of talented companies and performers from South Wales and beyond. Categories included best production in the English language and best production in the Welsh language, Best male and female in opera and language categories, best dance production, best opera and many more besides. The lineup also incorporated an award for a new element of performing arts, the multi-platform and best use of digital and online content.

During the night, National Theatre Wales took home best production in the English language for Coriolan/Us, best ensemble for The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning, best director for John McGrath’s work on the The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning) and four other awards. The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning also scooped the award for best use of digital and online content with Native HQ taking the honours for their spectacular work  in producing a series of live internet streams of the entire production.

Rebecca Evans collects Best Female Opera Singer (Marriage Of Figaro) Photo: Mei Lewis.

National Dance Company Wales’ Ann Sholem and Roy Campbell-Moore were recognised with a lifetime achievement award for their contribution to dance over more than 30 years in the industry. NDCW also won the best dance award for their production, Dream.

It was a night of success as Lisa Palfrey took home best actress (English language) for her performance in Before It Rains and Rebecca Harries won best actress (Welsh language) for Llanast! By Theatr Bara Caws. Scooping best production for children/young people with  Theatr Iolo‘s Grimm Tales and the Young Critics’ Award went to Volcano for their production of A Clockwork Orange.

Supported by leading media and arts organisations in Wales, the awards were set up and organised by the Young Critics scheme, a Bridgend-based arts development programme. Made up of 12-25 year olds the scheme encourages their critical and written voices with the assistance of professional critics and writers. Their reviews are then published online. Alongside Scotland’s Critic’s Awards for theatre, Wales is now able to boast its own ceremony to match various other London-based award ceremonies.


Best Production In The Welsh Language

Llwyth – (Sherman Cymru/Theatr Genedaethol Cymru)

Simon Watts picks up Best Actor (Welsh Language) for Llwyth. Photo: Mei Lewis

Best Female Performance In The Welsh Language

Rebecca Harries – Llanast! (Bara Caws)

Male Performance In The Welsh Language

Simon Watts – Llwyth (Sherman Cymru/Theatr Genedaethol Cymru)

Best Production In The English Language

Coriolan/Us – (National Theatre Wales)

Best Male Performance In The English Language

Richard Lynch – Coriolan/Us (National Theatre Wales)

Best Female Performance In The English Language

Lisa Palfrey – Before It Rains (Sherman Cymru/Bristol Old Vic)

Best Ensemble

The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning – National Theatre Wales

Matthew Aubrey, Harry Ferrier, Gwawr Loader, Kyle Rees, Anjana Vasan,

Sion Daniel Young

Best Director

John McGrath – The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning (National Theatre Wales)

Best Design

Tim Dickel – Little Dogs (National Theatre Wales/Frantic Assembly)

Best Music and Sound

John Hardy/Mike Beer – Coriolan/Us (National Theatre Wales)

Best Use Of Digital/Online Content

The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning – (National Theatre Wales/Native HQ/Tom Beardshaw)

Best Production For Children/Young People

Grimm Tales – (Theatr Iolo)

Best Dance Production

Dream (National Dance Company Wales)

The Writer’s Guild Playwright Award

Katherine Chandler – Before It Rains (Sherman Cymru/Bristol Old Vic)

Young Critic’s Award

A Clockwork Orange – (Volcano)

Best Opera Production

La Traviata – (Welsh National Opera)

Best Male Opera singer

Gary Griffiths – La Bohème (Welsh National Opera)

Best Female Opera Singer

Rebecca Evans – The Marriage Of Figaro (Welsh National Opera)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ann Sholem and Roy Campbell-Moore (NDCW)

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