2005 Winners

On June 5, 2005 the winners for the ten categories of the 2004-05 CATS were announced at the second CATS celebration, supported by Stirling Council at the Tolbooth in Stirling and attended by members of the Scottish theatre community.

The ten awards were presented by Vicky Featherstone, director of the National Theatre of Scotland. and John Bett, winner in 2003-04 of the CATS Best Actor. The 2004-05 CATS Shortlist was announced on May 15, 2005. There is a link to each company’s website or email at its first mention.

Guest presenter Vicky Featherstone with David Tennant, winner of Best Male Performance

Best Male Performance

David Tennant for Jimmy Porter in Look Back In Anger by John Osbourne – Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh production. Directed by Charles Baron.

“David Tennant’s performance swept us off our feet, electrifying and mesmerising as he paced the stage like a caged animal. Whether he was perching on furniture or strutting dictator-like, it was impossible to take your eyes off him as he summoned up the hateful but irresistible Jimmy Porter.”

Best Female Performance

Christine Entwisle as Lisa in The Wonderful World Of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson – Edinburgh International Festival / DrumTheatre, Plymouth in association with the Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

“Christine Entwisle’s performance was built from the ground up. Full of technical precision and forensically observed detail, this performance added a final layer of ringing emotional authenticity. Not a second was wasted on stage from end to end of an exhausting performance in which Entwisle was barely offstage at all for over two hours”. This performance was part of the play’s world premiere at the 2004 Edinburgh International Festival.

Best Ensemble

Citizens Theatre Ensemble Glasgow – Pete Ashmore, Julie Austin, Candida Benson, Andrew Clarke, Lorna McDevitt and Vivien Reid for A Little Bit of Ruff Season – 5 Plays in rep – The Lady Aoi by Yukio Misima , La Musica by Marguerite Duras, A Ruffian On the Stair by Joe Orton, 4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane and Vernon God Little dramatised by Andrea Hart.

“True ensemble playing is rare in such cash-strapped times, but here the Citizens, under the guiding hand of director/designer Kenny Miller, achieved the heroic feat of producing five plays, with four first time directors who also appeared in most of the works they weren’t overseeing. This compendium of modern classics not seen in this country since the 60s, a post-modern classic that cried real tears, and a brand new adaptation of a maverick literary masterpiece, were imbued with style, panache, elegance, charm and deadly danger.”

Best Director

Anthony Neilson for The Wonderful World of Dissocia – Edinburgh International Festival /DrumTheatre, Plymouth in association with the Tron, Glasgow production.

“Neilson’s direction gave us a believable and liberating look at life lived beyond sanity, one strikingly recognisable to anyone who has gone there. His challenging way of working as director and writer means his text is developing constantly during rehearsal. The resulting theatrical truthfulness, exhilaration and insights fuelled this production.”

Best Design

Miriam Buether for The Wonderful World of Dissocia – Edinburgh International Festival /DrumTheatre, Plymouth in association with the Tron, Glasgow production.

“Miriam Buether’s design for The Wonderful World of Dissocia was a perfectly realised wonderland, which turned so easily to nightmare and from which there seemed never to be an escape. But escape it did. Finessing the reality of a hospital ward in the play’s brutally honest second act in such a way that the fantastical characters all came tumbling back into their true focus”.

Best Music and Sound

Philip Pinsky for Fierce – Grid Iron Production.

“Philip Pinsky’s constantly inventive score played with sound in a live set that took the audience from supermarket to suburb in an expletive-laced onslaught of rap-based urban beats, driving the story on with in-your-face ingenuity.” Fierce centered on a group of teenagers who form a tag-team and develop their graffti in the grim area they live in and one of their mothers, who was only 32 years old. It contained music, sound, lyrics and dance took us into the world of a sub-culture.

Best Technical Presentation

Anna Karenina, Royal Lyceum Theatre.

“The production contained many flown pieces and the fantastic train that came straight down the stage at the critical moment. The speed and precision with which one scene flowed seamlessly into another was a crucial part of what made this production successful. There was clearly a great team working hard together – as there always needs to be.” The play was adapted by John Clifford from the novel by Leo Tolstoy and was directed by Muriel Romanes.

Best Production for Children and Young People

Beauty and the Beast, Cumbernauld Theatre.

“Simon Sharkey took on Disney in more or less his own terms. Every child knows Beauty and Beast from the Disney cartoon. Simon challenged this by setting the story in the heart of a family, returning both them and the tale to the book”. Beauty And The Beast was written by Simon Sharkey who also directed it. Sharkey has just left Cumernauld Theatre to take up an appointment at the National Theatre of Scotland as Associate Director (Education), but returns briefly to Cumbernauld to direct his brand new adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen favourite The Snow Queen at Christmas.

Best New Play

Anthony Neilson for The Wonderful World of Dissocia – Edinburgh International Festival /DrumTheatre, Plymouth in association with the Tron, Glasgow production.

“Anthony Neilson’s brilliant and troubling play was as much surreal pantomime as high-minded drama. But behind the corny comedy and Alice in Wonderland dreamscape was a subtle meditation on the nature of mental illness. It started off funny and ended desperately, movingly sad”. Although this play is not published yet other Neilson plays are published by Methuen.

Best Production

The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Edinburgh International Festival /DrumTheatre, Plymouth in association with the Tron, Glasgow production.

“It’s extraordinary for one production to sweep the board so comprehensively – but then it was an extraordinary production which richly imagined an important subject, using all the power of the theatre. It would be impossible to imagine this in another medium” Speaking from the Scottish Theatre Festival in Florence, Neilson expressed his delight at the success of the production. “In every town, on every street, there are heroic men and women that battle with their own minds on a day-to-day basis. They are heroes and Dissocia is dedicated to them.”

The awards panel consisted of: Mary Brennan (The Herald), Mark Brown (Sunday Herald), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Alan Chadwick (Metro), Steve Cramer (List), Robert Dawson Scott (The Times), Thom Dibdin (Edinburgh Evening News/The Stage), Mark Fisher (The Guardian/Scotland on Sunday), Thelma Good (EdinburghGuide.com/ Chapman), Sarah Jones (The Independent), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), Kenneth Speirs (Scottish Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday) and Joy Watters (The Courier).