“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
“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.”
Community Engagement & Participation Manager Learning
National Museum Wales
Age Cymru’s arts programmes, the Gwanwyn Festival and cARTrefu project, have always worked closely with the 3rd Act Critics. Our remit is to make the arts more accessible and encourage older people to participate in the arts, be it as a performer, audience member, producer or critic so our partnership with the 3rd Act Critics is an ideal fit!
It, along with the Young Critics, provides a fantastic opportunity to develop the cultural critical voices in Wales and ensure that voices from certain groups of society (groups that can often be left forgotten or unheard) are given a platform to share, review and debate. The group also develops the skills and talent of its members and provides the opportunity for older people to become more actively involved in cultural activity in Wales. I look forward to working with them more closely in the future.
Arts and Creativity Programme Manager
Motherlode is all about removing barriers to theatre, making entertaining work with a political edge that our friends, neighbours and families can enjoy in a collective experience. In a quick survey we asked 100 women in Wales “Does theatre represent your world view?” 13% said yes, the other half said no, and the other half said they don’t go to the theatre. While this research needs more fleshing out, there’s a problem here with who we’re currently making theatre for and who we’re making it with…Get The Chance is vital to shifting how we talk about theatre, who gets to talk about theatre, and who decides what should be on our stages. It encourages local people to take ownership of their venues and creates a safe environment where communities can take risks and express themselves through sports, culture and live events, regardless of background.
Rachel Boulton, Artistic Director, Motherlode
“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 Playwright
Collaborating with Get The Chance has been really exciting for us and I feel like we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what might be possible in terms of working together and developing new arts professionals- and moreover broadening audiences. Thus far, we have been able to tap into groups who have traditionally been excluded from training as well as arts opportunities, often because of access requirements or other barriers. The work I have seen Guy do has inspired groups to think critically about the arts they consume and to want more. We are extremely hopeful that we can seek new ways to go even further with this partnership. More joined up working like this is definitely needed in Wales!
Beth House, Creative Producer, Taking Flight Theatre Company
I have been working as a freelance producer for over a year, and I have worked with Get the Chance with almost all the productions I’ve been involved with, as we share a passion for co-working, sharing ideas and contacts and creating active creative citizens in different communities across Wales.
It’s been very valuable working with an organisation like Get the Chance. Arranging reviewers, interviews and specific workshops raising the company’s profile and excellent promotion, sharing ideas and giving advice. Get the Chance have also brokered relationships with their members to become Local Promoters in different areas across Wales.
Nia Wyn Skyrme- Freelance Producer/ Promoter
“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.
“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