This has been a record-breaking year for the Wales Theatre Awards, the unique celebration of live performance as nominated by critics working in English and in Welsh. We have had more reviewers nominating more artists from more performance spaces than ever before for this showcase for excellence in live performance and the role of arts writers.
More than 280 individual artists were nominated by 40 critics for the prestigious annual opera, dance and theatre awards. Between them the critics made 830 nominations for the 20 award categories
These nominations comprised 157 individual shows and 89 companies across Wales from the largest national companies to fledgling organisations, from big budget shows to solo works and ranging from new writing to classics.
The Wales Theatre Awards are organised by Arts Awards Ltd. This not for profit company also runs Wales Critics Fund which we believe is the only organisation in the UK, if not internationally, that financially and practically supports arts reviewing. It assists new and established critics working in Welsh and in English for a wide variety of publications and online platforms. Whether you are reading a review in a newspaper, magazine, website or blog in Llandudno or Llandaff, Bangor or Bridgend, the chances the Wales Critics Fund will have supported that reviewer.
This year the Awards are hosted by the Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University. This is the first time the Awards have been outside Cardiff and this is incredibly important as we are an all-Wales celebration, marking work throughout the country.
Each of the winners receives an engraved Welsh slate trophy generously provided by the University of Wales Trinity St David. With so many nominations you can see reaching the shortlists let alone winning an award is a major achievement in these, the most inclusive, comprehensive, transparent and independent, of awards.
We also have other sponsors of the Awards so that every penny from supporters and sponsors for the Wales Critics Fund goes to supporting reviewing in Wales.
This year Wales Critics Fund has launched an individual or small organisation supporter category of £75. You too can join us by pledging your support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have support this year for our work from Arts & Business Cymru under their Culture Step programme. This will enable us to engage with young people in Community First areas of Wales to mentor them in arts and media, reviewing and attending theatre performances. If you know of a school, youth theatre group or youth writing group in any CF areas in Wales spread the word as there is still the opportunity for them to get involved. Just email email@example.com.
Director, Wales Theatre Awards
Arts Awards Ltd