Recommendations & Alumni

john mcgrath edit_560

“The Young and Third Act Critics initiative has been one of the most exciting developments in Welsh Arts in recent years. Supporting a wide range of young and older people to see and respond to a fantastic variety of work, the programme has helped to create a culture of passionate and informed debate in the arts – encouraging attendance and participation.”

 John McGrath
 CEO & Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival

Inaugural Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales


“At Literature Wales we believe that literature belongs to everybody and can be found everywhere. We work collaboratively, bilingually, and in a wide range of communities, to make sure that literature is a voice for all.

We believe in empowering people, groups and communities by supporting them and giving them the tools to develop the literature programmes, events and schemes they want and need in their own local area.

Young and 3rd Act Critics schemes contribute towards this by encouraging people to engage in positive criticism of the arts and culture worlds they find around them, thereby contributing to a healthier and more responsive cultural scene. Literature  Wales is pleased to support such a worthwhile project.”

 Lleucu Siencyn
 Chief Executive
 Literature Wales

Photographed By Robin Maggs - National Museum Wales 2012

“As Community Engagement and Participation Manager at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (ACNMW), I’ve worked extensively with Guy O’Donnell over the past year. Projects initiated and coordinated by him, Young Critics and 3rd Act Critics, encourage and support younger and older people respectively to review theatre, film, galleries and museums, and record their views through a blog. Their insights and comments on our recent exhibitions have been invaluable, as we were able to evaluate, for the first time, what members of the public really thought of our displays. This will be central to our exhibition development going forward.”

Owain Rhys

Community Engagement & Participation Manager Learning

National Museum Wales


“The Young Critics and 3rd Act Critics have contributed hugely to the creative community in Wales. Not only have they triggered conversations about art in Wales, they have broken down barriers and asked questions about who actually gets to critique art. It is this democratisation of criticism that is crucial to a healthy and thriving artistic community that listens to everyone.”

Tim Price



“Being involved in the Young Critics Scheme was an invaluable stepping stone to achieving my career ambitions. Just four years after joining the scheme, I’m now a Marketing Manger at an award-winning publishing company and was shortlisted for the 2016 London Book Fair Trailblazer Awards, recognising the most promising people under 30 in publishing. The Young Critics helped to get me here by promoting my work on their blog, providing free networking and review opportunities, but above all boosting my confidence by encouraging me to get my voice heard. I’ve no doubt the scheme will continue to support other young people like myself to fulfill their goals.”

 Bethan James
 Sales, Marketing and Publicity Manager.

Accent Press


“Young Critics was a really important scheme for me. I really felt that young people were allowed to have a voice within the organisation, and the enthusiasm and support of Guy O’Donnell gave me confidence in my own voice and my own opinions as a critic and participant of the arts, which I have carried with me as I have progressed into a maker of theatre.

It was through writing reviews for Young Critics that I was given the opportunity to blog for National Theatre Wales at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and from the reviews that I wrote then I was invited to assist for Adele Thomas with Gaggle Babble Theatre, which was a fantastic experience early and something that really boosted my confidence at that stage.

I believe strongly that Young Critics helped place me within the art community and developed my desire to work within the community.”

 Charlie Hammond
. Studied at Philippe Gaulier, a prestigious French clown school in Étampes, outside Paris

Creating opportunities for a diverse range of people to experience and respond to sport, arts, culture and live events.