Wales Theatre Awards Shortlisting begins

December 17, 2017 by

Wales Theatre Awards nominations are now closed and the difficult process of choosing the shortlisted artists and performances now begins.

Reviewers from all over Wales have sent in their nominations for the annual celebration of the best in theatre, opera and dance across the nation.

Tickets are now on sale for the Wales Theatre Awards Show which is being held in Newport for the first time with The Riverfront hosting the sparkling ceremony on Saturday, January 27, 2018.

Invitations are now being sent out to all our guests and the shortlisted artists will be invited this coming week – what a Christmas present!

This highlight of the arts calendar includes the presentation of much coveted trophies and also an evening of entertainment from some of Wales’ finest new and established performers.

There are also new awards this year to recognise the particular challenges of creating touring shows in Wales which are the lifeblood of the arts in Wales. There is also a new award called Wales and the World to recognise an artist from Wales whose work has been outside Wales.

The awards are a valuable way of showing appreciation and providing recognition for the huge variety of work done by all practitioners of the theatrical community in Wales, whatever the size, language or discipline of the companies involved.  They also recognition of the contribution of arts writers and critics.  Performers, writers, directors, singers and actors are nominated by critics who have reviewed performances that have been created and presented in Wales.

Awards Director Mike Smith said, “We have been inundated with nominations from reviewers all over Wales, for Welsh language and English language work. All of Wales’ leading reviewers and some fresh new voices have sent in their nominations working across print and online media with publications and platforms including, Arts Scene in Wales, Wales Arts Review, The Sprout, The Guardian, The Stage, South Wales Evening Post, The Independent, New Voices, Theatre in Wales.

“We are now also finalising the entertainment at the Awards Show at The Riverfront and  it is going to be a great night of entertainment with live performance, videos, fun contributions and surprises along the way!”

Mike added, “What sets the WTAs apart is the diverse range of work that our critics see and nominate and this means our past winners have not only been large-scale works from large companies but also small-scale shows and edgy new works that are frequently overlooked (if seen at all) in other award schemes. There is also no cost to take part and it is purely up to the critics to choose what is put forward for consideration.”

Many of the reviewers are supported by a unique fund, Wales Critics Fund, that helps make sure artists and audiences benefit from the debate, discussion and feedback provided by critics working across Wales by enabling far more reviewing across Wales and by supporting the next generation of reviewers.

Members of the Fund range from the large national companies including Welsh National Opera, National Dance Company Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Arad Goch, Ballet Cymru, Theatr Bara Caws, Black Rat Productions, Cwmni Fran Wen, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and National Theatre Wales to individual venues including Aberystwyth Arts Centre, The Other Room, Wales Millennium Centre, The Torch Theatre, Theatr Clwyd and Pontio. There are also many individual supporters..

The WTA and the WCF is the UK’s first project to not only include new and established critics in a theatre awards scheme but works to develop new reviewing capacity, mentor young writers, give tickets, travel and accommodation bursaries and help provide platforms for their reviews.

Mike Smith said, “This unique Fund enables reviewers who do not have access to other payment or funding to review performances across Wales and, while there are other schemes for have-a-go reviewing, this is a unique project that gives professional mentoring to new reviewers, including students at schools across Wales.”

The shortlists will be announced in early January.


The Awards Show is currently supported by The Riverfront, Arts Scene in Wales and the South Wales Argus.


For further sponsorship opportunities and more information please email


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