2007 Winners

The fifth annual CATS, for the year 2006-07 were announced at noon on Sunday June 10 in a ceremony at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Shortlists are here. The awards were presented with the support of Perth & Kinross Council.

Best Male Performance

Sandy Grierson, Fergus Lamont in Fergus Lamont Communicado/Perth

“Sandy Grierson is a brilliant young actor who combines the best of European theatre technique with a powerful ability to embody aspects of Scottish experience. In Communicado’s Fergus Lamont, he gave a magnificent, shape-changing performance in the title role, playing Robin Jenkins’s hero from the moment of his birth well into middle age, and providing the strong central force in one of the finest productions of the year.”

Best Female Performance

Meg Fraser, Martha Meier in Tom Fool, Citizens

“Meg Fraser is an electrifying performer, prepared to go the whole emotional hog, be it in cameo roles as in her recent turn in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons or here in Franz Xavier Kroetz’s 1970s set play, as the long-suffering wife of a blue-collar under-achiever. despite the seriousness of the play, Fraser never once falls back on easy histrionics, but performs with restraint, vulnerability and utter truthfulness.”

Best Ensemble

Black Watch, NTS

“The commitment of the cast of Black Watch shone through in a set of moving, uniformly excellent performances. In scenes of off-duty banter, heart-stopping combat and silent reflection, the ten actors were utterly convincing – both as soldiers, and as men.”

Best Director

John Tiffany, Black Watch NTS

“John Tiffany’s production was both technically accomplished and artistically adventurous. There is a showmanship to all of his work which makes it distinctively his own. With this, he mixes in an eclectic range of physical and visual techniques from contemporary theatre practice to create, in this production even more than usual, a stunning and immensely powerful night of theatre.”

Best Design

Naomi Wilkinson and Bruno Poet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dundee Rep

“Dominic Hill’s staging of the Shakespeare comedy imagined a very British kind of summer, lashing down with rain. Not so much the pastoral landscape of convention as a crumbling theatre of dreams, Naomi Wilkinson’s set of sloping planks was spliced by a trench of water and fronted by rocks and rubble as if it had just been bombed. Bruno Poet’s lighting intensified the austere post-war atmosphere of this revealing dark staging.”

Best Music and Sound

Robert Pettigrew, Man of La Mancha, Royal Lyceum

“Great music is not essential for great theatre. Very often the best used music is that which insinuates itself onto the stage, adding depth so subtly that the audience are not actually aware of it. In the Royal Lyceum’s production of Man of La Mancha, musical director Robert Pettigrew and the rest of the talented cast did something else again. They took Mitch Leigh’s existing music and, moving the orchestra out of the pit and onto the stage, they performed it in such a manner that it became an extra force to the narrative. So much so, that the music did not merely reflect the action and enhance it, but the music became the action itself, the motivating force for events as they unfolded on the stage. It was, in short, the most memorable and artistically successful piece of musical theatre of any kind to be performed on a Scottish stage over the last 12 months.”

Best Technical Presentation

Black Watch, NTS

“From sweeping searchlights that created the initial impression of a mini tattoo, to a pool table housing two squaddies which doubled up as a tank, use of giant video screen projections and a quite stunning and sobering finale that truly brings home the horrors of war, in keeping with the theme of the play Black Watch offered up a technical tour de force delivered with all the precision of a military operation.”

Best Production for Children and Young People

David Greig/Wils Wilson, Gobbo, NTS Ensemble

“Cartons of juice and a jammy dodger for starters. Live music. And a raffle. Gobbo felt like a great party even before the play got under way. And what a play! David Greig and Wils Wilson cooked up the kind of harum-scarum, make-believe adventure that kids really want to join in with – no wonder the mad, bad Watchmaker of Rhum gets a full-on come-uppance. Kids leave, thrilled to bits – their parents leave wondering why theatre for adults suddenly seems so stuffy and unimaginative.”

Best New Play

Torben Betts, The Unconquered, Stellar Quines

Stellar Quines Theatre Company

“Torben Betts’ play is highly original and invigoratingly bold. The apparent simplicity of its characterisations and setting make for a chillingly cartoonish image of social and political relations. Above all, however, it is a staggeringly poetic work of theatre, which lent itself readily to a highly memorable Stellar Quines production.”

Best Production

Black Watch, NTS

“Black Watch is one of those shows that comes along very, very rarely, where everything works, where every judgement is right, where the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. I’ve been going to the theatre for 40 years, 30 of them professionally, one way or another. It is among the five best shows I have ever seen.”