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Hello and welcome to the BBC Wales Arts Review 2015.
I'm at Pontio, Bangor University's long-awaited
arts and innovation centre.
After a long period of construction delays,
the building is finally open, in landscaped surroundings
and with public art, inspired by the area's slate quarrying history.
From Bangor, we look back over the last 12 months.
Opera star Bryn Terfel celebrates his 50th birthday in great style.
A Cardiff park's transformed into a magical place for all the family.
Cardiff's homeless community becomes the subject
of a powerful photography exhibition.
Gary Owen's latest play triumphs at Sherman Cymru
and now transfers to the National Theatre, London.
And Kate Hamer's acclaimed debut novel, The Girl In The Red Coat,
is nominated for the prestigious Costa First Novel Award.
What an exciting year it's been!
It's been a good year for Welsh music, with successful singers
and bands in almost every genre.
From opera superstars to
songwriters penning the most successful pop song of the year,
the vibrancy was perhaps underlined by one extraordinary day in June.
With One Direction playing at the Wales Millennium Stadium
and the Manic Street Preachers at Cardiff Castle,
the capital was gridlocked with music fans.
And A Design For Life could be heard rocking the castle walls
for miles around.
For the first time, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were staged in Wales.
9Bach from Bethesda won the coveted Best Album prize for Tincian.
The first Welsh group to win this major competition,
their success puts the Welsh folk scene firmly on the map.
SHE SINGS IN WELSH
# Roxanne... #
Opera sensation Bryn Terfel celebrated his 50th birthday
with a special concert at the Royal Albert Hall, with a stellar cast...
..including former Police frontman Sting.
# You don't have to put on the red light
# You don't have to put on the red light
# I love you since I knew ya
# I wouldn't talk down to ya
# I have to tell you just how I feel
# I won't share you with another boy
# You know my mind is made up
# So put away your make-up
# Told you once, I won't tell you again
# It's a bad way
# You don't have to put on the red light
# You don't have to put on the red light
# You don't have to put on the red light. #
Welsh National Opera performed a musical for the first time in 2015 -
Stephen Sondheim's great Sweeney Todd.
And the WNO chorus won a Tosca, as it's known in the business,
for Best Chorus in the prestigious International Opera Awards.
# I never get angry... #
Music Theatre Wales had an extraordinary first
earlier this year.
The Trial, by Philip Glass, opened in Germany,
and Greek by Mark-Anthony Turnage was staged in South Korea,
thousands of miles apart, on the same night!
The company's been on trailblazing form.
For singer-songwriter Amy Wadge, it was the most unbelievable year.
The number-one song she wrote with singer Ed Sheeran,
Thinking Out Loud, received two Grammy nominations,
becoming one of the biggest hits of the world year worldwide.
# Till we're 70
# And, darling, my heart
# Could still fall as hard at 23... #
So, Thinking Out Loud has changed beyond my wildest dreams, really,
what I would have been doing, just in terms of the writing that I do.
I think that's the biggest change of all, is that I'm kind of edging
towards the more acoustic country, sort of, thing.
I still do other things that aren't that, but that's what I really love.
And before, that door was quite firmly closed
and it's not any more.
And, I suppose, to be egotistical,
the general respect thing has changed.
You go to, like, you know, award ceremonies and when people
used to go, "Oh, no, it's Amy Wadge," they don't do that any more.
And it's quite nice. And I take it with a pinch of salt, as well.
But, yeah, life has changed a lot in terms of the job I do
but in lots of other ways, it's not changed that much, you know,
because, luckily, I live in Wales.
# Well, me, I fall in love with you every single day
# And I just want to tell you I am... #
I just love living here and I think that's the biggest thing.
Everyone expected me to... You know, "When are you moving to London?"
And I just think, why would I?
Because I have a really simple, lovely life here and I can go
and do the London thing and then I come home and I'm just Mum
and my friends around here, you know,
really don't really care what I do and, if I'm honest,
if I say I've had a hard day, they're, like, "Yeah, whatever!
"What, writing songs?" You know?
And so it keeps me grounded and it's really important for me
to have a healthy balance because I think, inevitably, you can
believe all the hype and that's what it is - it's hype.
And as wonderful as it is - I'm having a great time in the sun
right now - but when that time passes, this will be here.
This will be what's real for me and that's really important.
# Maybe we found love right where we are. #
The national museum hosted Fragile,
the biggest ceramics exhibition ever held in Wales.
Filling all six contemporary art galleries,
it showcased key works
from the collection of the National Museum Wales,
including works by Turner Prize winner Richard Deacon
and the acclaimed ceramicist Felicity Aylieff.
If you went down to the woods this summer,
you'd be sure of a big surprise.
Bute Park in Cardiff became home for a huge web-like structure.
Created using hundreds of rolls of tape,
the magical concept was brought to the city by Migrations,
a group that brings international artists to Wales,
and was a collaboration with the RSPB.
The process has been awesome. Working with Migrations,
an organisation who are so visionary in how they're using natural
spaces to engage people with art, but with those spaces as well.
Working with the RSPB's Giving Nature A Home project,
Croatian company Numen was invited to create a place
where people could be close to the natural world.
I think it will be good for Cardiff, as well,
to have such an internationally, kind of,
known artist come over and create something here.
The aim was to rebuild the link between childhood and nature.
I think the coming together of art and nature is a little bit special.
The fact that this will encourage people outdoors to spend
a little bit of time in the park and spend a little bit of time
amongst the trees, like they maybe have never done before.
Do you know, I feel really excited today about being in there,
just happening upon this.
I think I'm part of something really special.
I think it's fascinating that it's made of Sellotape
and it's kind of scary at the same time,
cos you think you're going to fall but it's perfectly safe.
I would love to see more of this kind of thing going on
because we can feel included in the arts,
even if we're not very cultured.
The structure was later recycled into wild-flower planters.
Richard Downing's Fractal Clock,
a mesmerising installation that reveals its true form
just once every hour, went on display at Aberystwyth's Castle Theatre
after five years in the making.
Made from slate,
the 81 equilateral triangles not only rotate individually across 60 minutes
but have been perfectly placed to manipulate perspective.
All of these triangles are in a position, left and right
of the uppermost triangle and forward and back of that triangle,
so that they appear to give the illusion of being a two-dimensional
plane from a key viewpoint 15 metres away from the centre.
They are also capable of rotating
at different rhythms and so this image that is established
at the beginning, it then dissolves, breaks down,
across the duration of one hour, exactly 3,600 seconds,
so it is a kind of spatial clock, in a way.
The whole pattern that you see when it's resolved, it's a
classical fractal pattern,
so one small part looks like a larger part,
looks like a larger part, and these patterns - they occur in art
across history and across culture and the theory seems to be
that we like these patterns because we are surrounded by them in nature.
It's like the tree.
The tree is a big stick with small sticks coming off it
and a branch is a big stick with small sticks coming off it
and a twig is a big stick with small sticks coming off it
and then the veins in the body, the ripples of water,
the movement of fire, the shapes of clouds and...
It may be that there is something
deeply satisfying about these patterns.
It's complicated, perhaps, in its construction
but it's a very simple piece of work.
It's 81 triangles turning round, forming other triangles.
I mean, it's...
It's ridiculous, really.
We asked the magic "what if?" question.
"What would that be like? What if we did this? What if we made that?"
And then there's only really one way of finding out
and that's to make it.
This year, for the first time, a solo exhibition by a female artist
was chosen to represent Wales at the Venice Biennale,
one of the most important international art exhibitions
in the world.
Helen Sear, the Monmouthshire-based artist, exhibited her work
in a former convent in the city between May and November.
I've been for the last year working specifically in a beech wood
very close to my home in Wales.
I wanted to, kind of, make this place of the, sort of,
locus of the work, really.
There's a piece of work in every room, as it were,
so they're all kind of independent works but hopefully all
really interrelated and that kind of manifests itself through
the way that we've installed the work throughout the space.
I didn't just start with an idea of a project
that was going to be totally new.
This is an absolute ongoing representation of ideas
I've been working with in terms of how to disrupt a single-point
perspective of the camera. You know,
how do you represent the nature of experience,
so that the viewer is implicated in the work?
There isn't just one position to stand or sit and consume the work.
You know, the camera tends to prioritise the eye over all
the other senses and I think in all this work, I want the work to be,
kind of, experienced in different sensory levels.
So whether it's through the sound in Company Of Trees or through
the materiality of the image of Stack,
printed onto the aluminium strips, or, indeed,
the materiality of the photographic surface itself...
It's something that's always been really important to me.
Welsh film found success this year,
with feature-length documentary leading the charge.
Dark Horse told the true story of Dream Alliance,
a champion racehorse bred on a Welsh allotment.
It received its premiere at Robert Redford's prestigious
Sundance Film Festival.
These sort of people...
-And here we have...
-The owners - lords, dukes...
They like to keep us commoners out.
But I wasn't having any of it.
Mark Evans' Jack To A King, the miraculous story
of Swansea City Football Club's rise to the top,
enjoyed huge box office success
and premiered at London's Leicester Square.
It was nerve-racking.
You just felt, "We deserve this now, after what we've been put through."
And in fiction, Welsh actor Craig Roberts
made his directorial debut with the tale of Just Jim...
Hey. I'm Dean...
your new neighbour.
..starring opposite American actor Emile Hirsch.
Maybe you just need to man up a bit.
Concluding the centenary celebrations of Dylan Thomas's birth,
Kevin Allen's energetic and lyrical version
of Under Milk Wood was released.
It stars Rhys Ifans,
with Charlotte Church playing the good-time girl Polly Garter.
Nothing grows in our garden - only washing, and babies.
"And where's their fathers live, my love?" Over the hills and far away.
isn't life a terrible thing?
This year's seen the celebration of past and present writing success.
Centenaries were marked, first novels were published
and prizes were won.
Secondary school teacher Jonathan Edwards won
the highly-sought-after Costa Book Awards Poetry Prize
for his first published volume, My Family And Other Superheroes.
The people who have the won the award in the past, you know,
massive names - people like Caroline Duffy and Joe Shapcott,
you know, my favourite poets, really.
And people whose work I've studied and admired and taught.
So to find myself on that list, my name there,
when these are things that I've, sort of,
scribbled in my front room in a tiny village in Wales...
Any, sort of, success the book gets, ultimately, is testament to the area
that I'm writing about, you know, Newport and the South Wales valleys.
It's so rich in its history.
I think I'm on to a winner, really, with the subjects that I've got.
I mean, writing well in our area is just a case of, kind of,
looking around you at what you see.
It's every writer's dream - a first book that's a smash hit.
Well, for Cardiff novelist Kate Hamer,
that dream has become a reality.
Her debut novel, The Girl In The Red Coat,
has been gaining stunning reviews
and is on the shortlist for the 2015 Costa First Novel Award.
I began writing The Girl In The Red Coat
probably about four or five years ago.
I just had this really persistent image of a little girl
standing in a forest, wearing a red coat.
And for some reason, that I find it hard to explain,
I knew she was lost in the image.
In a way, writing the book, it was a mission to find out
who she was, for a start, and why she was so lost.
I seem to be coming up with a way that I write.
I write the first chapter and the last couple of paragraphs,
so I know how it's going to end,
and I knew, sort of, say three or four big plot points
along the way. I mean, they say that...
I think they say you're either a plotter or a pantster,
and a pantster is somebody that flies by the seat of their pants,
and a plotter is somebody that, you know, has Excel spreadsheets
and they know exactly, and I think I'm a bit in between.
But I think if I plotted it out too minutely,
I probably wouldn't want to actually write the book cos,
you know, in writing it, it's like discovering it in a way.
"She stood up. She wasn't wearing her duffle coat
"but a little red jacket over a white dress,
"and the jacket was stitched with discs that shone out ruby red
"in the silver light.
" ' I'm not too sure. You lost me,' she said,
"and threw another stone into the water.
" ' You lost me as if I was nothing but a bead. Or a ten-pence piece.
" 'You kept taking me to places where it could happen.
" 'You were doing it on purpose.'
"More stones plinked into the stream."
I don't know whether I've been surprised by the reaction
to the book or not, really.
One thing I've really liked doing, actually, is doing events.
It's been really interesting, what people can say.
That can be surprising - the takes they have on the book -
and one thing happened recently and that was that two people in
the audience started arguing about it, and that was...
I think that was the point where I thought,
it does feel like it's, sort of...
It's not actually really...
You know, it's gone out into the world
and it's a thing on its own now, actually.
2015 saw the passing of several people
who had made a significant contribution to the cultural life of Wales.
Dr John Davies was the pre-eminent historian of his generation who
led a renaissance in Welsh historiography from the 1960s.
As an academic, John's work inspired generations of students
and his peerless A History Of Wales
sent the reader on an exciting and revelatory journey.
Perhaps the most controversial for an historian like myself was
the battle for Wales in the series Battlefield Britain.
His colourful and entertaining comments and breadth of knowledge
on Welsh history made him a popular and familiar face on our screens.
Why should we have a Prince of Wales at all?
If I was around in the 13th century, I wouldn't have
liked Llewelyn either.
It was precisely the time, when in Switzerland,
they were gathering together and having a republic
and cantons. That's what I would have liked.
Meredydd Evans, or Mered as he was fondly known,
was an academic, performer,
presenter, author and Welsh language campaigner who fought to
rescue and preserve the tradition of Welsh folk song.
Mered, along with wife Phyllis Kinney,
recorded and published collections of unaccompanied Welsh folk songs
which helped save a Welsh musical legacy
and promote a unique Welsh voice worldwide.
He brought the likes of Ryan and Ronnie
to the black and white screens of the 1960s
as head of light entertainment for the newly established
Mered was, simply, an inspiration to generations who love the Welsh
language and its culture.
Landscape artist Gwilym Prichard's oil paintings were
inspired by the surroundings that shaped his life.
From the rugged terrain of the Llyn Peninsula and the foothills
of Snowdonia to Provence and Brittany, where he settled
for over a decade with his wife, the figurative artist Claudia Williams.
Influenced by Kyffin Williams, who would later become his friend,
he favoured the palette knife over a brush.
The worst thing for me is to have to clean brushes and things like that.
I've got over that by just using a palette knife which
I can just wipe on my trousers.
-Well, or overalls.
It wasn't the natural landscape that inspired Swansea artist
Valerie Ganz, but Wales' industry.
Perhaps her best known work portrays the last years of
deep coal mining in Wales.
Valerie spent time with miners at 14 different pits,
sketching them at work and in the community.
Among her numerous projects were paintings capturing
scenes from Swansea Prison
and the nightlife in the city's clubs and streets.
It was the fact that it was almost like a forbidden place
and I've always wanted to go to places I'm not supposed to go to.
Osi Rhys Osmond was a highly respected lecturer,
artist, author and commentator on arts and culture.
His work, always evocative and challenging,
involved the close examination of nature and the human condition.
Osi created geographic essays in his art and his distinctive work
with a strong Welsh voice has been exhibited across the globe.
I'm claiming back my landscape. I'm defining it for me, making it mine.
And I'm bringing out what I think are the salient points about it,
the points which might be missed in the ordinary glance.
You won't see the things that I'm referring to.
But I know they're there and once you've seen the drawing
and then you look at the landscape, you'll know they're there as well.
An exhibition by former NME photographer
Chalkie Davies went on show at the National Museum of Wales
featuring stunning black and white photographs
of iconic pop stars from the '70s and '80s.
Many of these had never been seen before
and the exhibition attracted a new audience of music lovers
in the photographer's home city.
I slowly but surely went through the 44-45,000 negatives I'd
taken to see if there was anything I'd missed.
And like the Shane MacGowan picture,
I'd completely forgotten that I had that.
So without coming here and going through it, we wouldn't have
that picture in the show and to me, that's an important picture.
Photographer Andrew McNeill has been chronicling the lives of the poor
and destitute in Asia for many years.
Recently he turned his attention to a homeless
community on his doorstep in Cardiff.
The result was a striking exhibition and the publication
of his powerful photographic collection Under The Bridge.
I came back from India in January of 2014.
I had this idea for years and years but
I couldn't do it because I didn't have the time,
I was never in the country long enough.
So this one day I walked underneath the bridges,
the one on Bute Street, West Canal Wharf.
And I was just looking at the wall patterns and
the textures of the walls and I knew it would work
because I just wanted that kind of background.
I approached a group of homeless people
outside the railway station
and I told them my thoughts and my ideas and asked them
if they wanted to be part of it and it just went from there.
This young man here, the day I took this picture,
he was in an extremely bad mood.
He was ranting and raving and complaining about something,
nothing major but something that had happened.
I was fortunate enough to get this look and this pose.
I wanted them dark and moody and one of the curators from Bristol
referred to them as historical religious paintings.
This lady is quite photogenic actually.
The one day she was praying, I was quite lucky with the light
composition, there was a lot of light streaming through
the windows and it shows another side to her.
In terms of, you know, because she has got quite a tragic story.
Sometimes it can be difficult to present them
with a sense of dignity, really.
That was the most challenging thing.
This is referred to as Bute Street Tunnel.
It became quite a significant location because I took one
photo which has a lot of general feedback online and caused debate.
As you can see somebody is asleep there and this is
one of the scenarios which was played out a couple of months ago.
A couple had been on the street for six months and had built a bed
and the guy who was there lying in bed with his girlfriend was
reading a book and she was listening to an iPod
and everybody was walking to work,
it was like 8:00 in the morning
so you have the commuters coming from over
here from Lloyd George Avenue going into the various offices
and these two were just sat in bed relaxing.
So I wrote a caption on the side of the picture which said,
"First floor luxurious apartment on Lloyd George Avenue,
"ideal for first-time buyers with an asking price of £150,000."
This is a common scenario around here, unfortunately.
I think it's a story that needed to be told.
I've been doing a lot of research into homelessness in the city
and I've never seen anything that stood out and made a point
so I just wanted to do something which gave these people a voice
and a face. Yeah, it did was definitely worthwhile.
2015 has seen major changes in Welsh theatre as some of the biggest
names moved on to pastures new.
There have been new buildings opening too,
a live music venue the TramShed in Cardiff.
And Pontio here in Bangor.
After a frustrating succession of construction delays,
this building is finally up and running
and I wanted to find out from artistic director
Elen Ap Robert how
she managed to schedule an art centre whose opening date
kept being postponed.
It has been challenging
but I would say that all along we've had faith that we would eventually
have a fantastic centre with a wonderful mid-scale, flexible
theatre space. So that kept us going, I think.
What will this building do for this part of North Wales
-and its people?
-I think it will give a focus to the
arts in the area, in particular in Bangor where you will hear it
said that there's no reason to go into Bangor.
I think Pontio will bring people into Bangor.
When the programme that was due to take place last autumn had to
be withdrawn, we took Pontio on the road, literally.
We held a circus feast in the summer of this year.
Performances on the street and a procession through
the centre of town and so it was like saying Pontio is here
and Pontio will be in the building but in the meantime we are making
sure that we are offering new experiences
and high-quality experiences for the people of Bangor and beyond.
Pontio's first major production is an adaptation by
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru of the iconic novel Chwalfa
by T Rowland Hughes.
The play records the great Penrhyn quarry strike of 1900
and opens next month.
Just a short drive across the A55
and Llandudno's mini arts festival LLAWN
took over the queen of Welsh resorts for the third year running,
with a community-focused event that took place in the town
and on the beach.
Llawn in Welsh means full, it's a micro festival.
It's only a weekend and I want the to be full-on.
And stands for Llandudno Arts Weekend Number one, two and three.
Of course, there have been three so it's a kind of fun word
and it's kind of caught on I think.
It had to be about revisiting Llandudno's
Victorian heritage through
a multitude of art forms and that is at its heart and this year LLAWN 3
theme was revisit, reveal but for the three years it has always
been the presence of absence and looking at lost spaces,
looking at these lost stories and, kind of,
bringing them to the fore in a contemporary way.
You're looking at books and stuff
and I discovered a bathing machine
which was a shed on wheels that was then dragged
by horses into the sea so you could change and then step into the water.
It is a very elaborate way of keeping your modesty
and I was like, "What if we get six of these and then they
"become mobile art spaces, little performance spaces?"
Because they are a nice size but also they are very iconic.
People really know what they are
or with the Grannies this year knitting,
that was great because it really connected to the people
and they didn't know they were part of an artwork
but that didn't really matter.
It is about the innocent bystanders who might
come across a kitchen sink doing something fantastic
or for the avid art seekers or the performance pilgrims who
come here, who will go to the Tabernacle and see something
obscure and will love it so for me that is what LLAWN is about.
Having a really wide demographic of audience, that's really important.
It was also curator Marc Reese's third and final festival.
I'm very proud of it
and I think what we've achieved in the three years has been
terrific but I think it's time to hand it over to someone else
and they can fly with it, I hope.
After five years at the head of National Theatre Wales,
John McGrath is leaving to become artistic
director of the Manchester International Festival.
His final year in the post saw a huge variety of work
across numerous venues.
From the Iliad in Llanelli's Ffwrnes,
150, telling the Welsh in Patagonia story staged in Aberdare,
the story of Gareth "Alfie" Thomas in
Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage.
And the retelling of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children
from Merthyr Tydfil's Labour club.
When I programmed our fifth year of work,
I didn't actually know it would be my last year as
artistic director but I couldn't have chosen
a better one if I had known.
And I think the work in the year has been a real
statement of the width
and the kinds of work that National Theatre Wales makes.
A piece like Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage,
which has toured theatres all over the UK
and really engaged people in quite a gritty subject matter.
We know you did not leave Jenna for another woman.
-Do you understand what that means?
-It doesn't matter to us.
-But do you know what I'm really trying to tell you?
On another scale, you couldn't have a better year than
one in which the Guardian calls one of your big shows
the theatre event of the year, if not the decade.
Which they did with the Iliad, which we worked on at the wonderful
Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli.
Paris, his mirror bronze. His hair.
Be brave, he is more beautiful than God.
The children cry but heroes are not frightened by appearances.
One of my greatest joys in the whole five years has been
the work that we did this year in Merthyr Tydfil on Mother Courage.
I'm thinking whether to stock up or not.
Prices are low now
and if the war's going to come to an end then it's money down the drain.
The truth is nobody ever knows when the war will end.
Nothing in this world is perfect, including war.
Our all-female version of Brecht's great play gave me
the opportunity as a director to work with some of Wales's
greatest actresses with Rhian Morgan in the lead role
of Mother Courage but also with a chorus of local
women, many of whom had never done theatre before.
They became our chorus and have now gone on to form their own
theatre company in Merthyr Tydfil that we're supporting.
I think the Welsh theatre at the moment is on a high
and is full of excitement
but more than anything else, it has been great to see
all of the young companies that are starting to create their work.
Many, many companies that have been really showing what young
theatre-makers in Wales can do.
So my first instinct was to shout yabba-dabba-do.
WalesOnline arts editor Karen Price gives us
her view on Welsh theatre this year.
The Torch has done really well.
It took Grav to Edinburgh this year, which is the one-man
show based on Ray Gravell, the former rugby international.
Then they took the bandage off my leg,
he checked it over and his smile disappeared quicker than
Fred Flintstone sliding down that dinosaur and
heading home for his tea.
It was really emotional but also lots of humour in it, as well.
And even if you didn't like rugby, you would just become completely
drawn into it. Phenomenal piece from The Torch.
I dive into the clash buttoned up
and the guy at the front is handing Jager shots
back over the head and shoulders.
Sherman Cymru have had an amazing year.
Rachel O'Riordan, the artistic director, joined over a year ago
and she has really put her mark on the company.
She directed the one-woman play Iphigenia In Splott starring
Sophia Melville as the character Effie.
It is based on a Greek tragedy set in Splott
in Cardiff in the modern day and it just tells the story
of this young woman and how her life is falling apart, really.
There is a political message in there
showing how you shouldn't really judge people.
I kick off my shoes. I dance like I don't know how.
I spin, I don't know what my body's doing.
I'm just watching it except I know me.
I am me but I am someone else as well and then and then and then...
..the song ends and I look to where this guy should be right next
to me but next to me there's no-one.
Written by Gary Owen,
it went to Edinburgh where it got five-star reviews,
it's toured Wales, it has won a
UK Theatre Award for best new play
and now it is going to actually be transported to the
National Theatre in London.
The first time, I believe,
a producing house in Wales has had this success.
It's incredible for us and it is incredible that our work is
getting shown on this massive stage too.
I think the health of Welsh theatre at the moment is really buoyant.
Our producing houses are out there showing the world what were made of.
National Theatre Wales itself is still making waves,
getting all the national critics talking about Wales as well,
which is not something we've had much before
they existed and you've got all these fringe theatre companies
who are cropping up, thanks really to National Theatre Wales.
We now have a pub theatre in Cardiff as well, The Other Room
which opened this year which has been bringing
lots of crowds of people in.
Those who would not have gone to theatre before,
they can have a pint and enjoy a play
and we've got lots of writers coming through,
lots of directors coming through who are all
competing on an international stage and I think it's brilliant for us.
Well, that's it from the BBC Wales Arts Review 2015
and what a year it has been.
But 2016 looks just as exciting, as we mark
the centenary of the birth of iconic children's writer Roald Dahl
and Welsh National Opera reaches its 70th birthday.
So here's to a wonderful 2016 and a belated happy birthday, Bryn.
Good night. Nos da!