Cultural highlights from Wales 2015
"All the world's a stage," Shakespeare famously wrote, "and all the men and women merely players." At times during 2015 the boundary between real life and the arts in Wales seemed just as blurred as the bard's.
1 Iphigenia in Splott
I hadn't considered that a Greek myth would lend itself easily to one of Cardiff's grittier suburbs. But Gary Owen's remarkable play for Sherman Cymru earned five-star reviews from the broadsheets, and transferred to the Edinburgh Fringe. It'll be at the National Theatre in London in January, and focuses on the fiery life of a young woman in Splott.
Sophie Melville's monologue as Effie was "a perfect whirlwind of aggression, seduction, violence and pity," according to The Guardian, who called it "perfect theatre."
2 Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage
It took National Theatre Wales (NTW) six years of existence before staging its first rugby-themed play in the land of the oval ball. Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage largely relayed events off the pitch, and told how Gareth Thomas came out as the game's first openly gay professional player.
Real Welsh characters also appeared in NTW's summer production, 150, where it teamed up with its Welsh language counterpart Theatre Genedlaethol to tell the story of the settlers who emigrated to Patagonia 150 years ago.
3 BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Patagonia
The anniversary of the Welsh-speaking colony in southern Argentina prompted plenty of creative commemorations in 2015.
Perhaps the most inspiring was the residency in Patagonia by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as part of their first ever tour of South America.
In October members of the orchestra visited special schools, old people's homes and local music groups in the towns where thousands of descendants of the original Welsh settlers still live.
The visit culminated with a gala concert in a specially converted wool warehouse in the city of Trelew - the first known performance in Patagonia by an international symphony orchestra.
4 Helen Sear, Venice Biennale
Welsh art made a splash in Venice. Helen Sear represented Wales at the Biennale, the ritual gathering of the world's art elite.
Her photographs and film showed the natural world near her home in Usk, and attracted crowds of critics and tourists during its seven month show in the floating city.
5 James Bond - Never Say Never...
Welsh politicians were mostly furious when I revealed the world's most famous spy had been banned from their building.
James Bond producers were refused permission to film inside the Senedd's debating chamber, and didn't want to use any other available parts of the National Assembly's striking building in Cardiff Bay.
Assembly officials said curtly that the chamber was "not a drama studio", though AMs from all sides vowed to "never say never again".
6 The Bastard Executioner
There was a warmer welcome for the film industry when production began at Pinewood Wales. The studios on the outskirts of Cardiff hosted the filming for the pilot episode of American TV series The Bastard Executioner.
It went on to film a full series at Dragon Studios, reviving the fortunes of the complex previously dubbed Valleywood. Though the Executioner won't return, a long-term deal between the studio and Fox TV means more productions should follow.
7 BBC and S4C behind the scenes
On the small screen, discussions behind the scenes about the BBC and S4C were just as dramatic as some of the year's biggest shows.
The review of the BBC's Royal Charter, renewed every ten years, has led to calls for a better portrayal of Wales on UK-wide programming, and for a greater variety of programmes for local audiences in Wales.
Meanwhile the building work began on the future home of BBC Cymru Wales, after getting approval to move its HQ from Llandaff to Cardiff city centre in 2019.
S4C's budget was reduced again in the Chancellor's autumn statement, and while it's still assessing the impact of its shrinking income, the channel says it is fully committed to relocating its headquarters from Cardiff to Carmarthen.
Six to see in 2016
Roald Dahl Centenary
Events throughout the year to remember the Cardiff-born author, though the City of the Unexpected event on the streets of Cardiff in September shouldn't be missed.
Festival of Voice
Wales Millennium Centre has created this new international festival which takes place at venues across Cardiff in the summer. Rufus Wainwright and Juliette Greco are already confirmed, with the full programme announced in February.
This Welsh language drama set during the great strike affecting north Wales' slate industry opens at the new Pontio arts centre in Bangor in February. It's staged by Theatr Genedlaethol who are offering an innovative translation service via a smartphone app.
Iconic props from the Indiana Jones films are among the artefacts on show at National Museum Cardiff's first paid-for exhibition in years. Visitors to Treasures will experience a blockbuster show, and see the original ancient objects that inspired the film's producers. It'll cost £7 for adults, though children go free.
It will be 400 years since Shakespeare's death in 2016. There will be a global celebration of his life and work, with Wales set to play its own part. You can expect new theatre productions, books, TV and radio programmes, while events such as the Hay Festival will also be marking the occasion.
Opera at 70
Welsh National Opera celebrates its 70th birthday with a newly commissioned opera based on David Jones's epic war poem In Parenthesis. With music by Iain Bell, it tells the story of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the Somme. This will also mark the centenary of the World War One battle.