2012 Winners

THE tenth annual CATS, for the year 2011–12, were announced on Sunday June 10 in a ceremony at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow. The guest presenter was Alan Cumming. Programmes were designed and printed by The List.

Guest presenter Alan Cumming presents Ann Louise Ross with the award for Best Female Performance. Photograph: Drew Farrell

The CATS Whiskers

David MacLennan and A Play, a Pie and a Pint

For outstanding achievement for 250 plays in eight years

David MacLennan picks up an Outstanding Achievement award for 250 new plays in 8 years for A Play, a Pie and a Pint from Alan Cumming

“Since 2004, David MacLennan and A Play A Pie and A Pint have transformed the Scottish theatre scene with their brilliant invention of a lunchtime theatre format that allows them – in complete freedom, and without direct public subsidy – to present more than 30 new short plays each year, by a dazzling range of writers from Scotland and across the world. They have created a whole new dimension of opportunity, both for young writers starting out, and for established writers keen to try something new; and as the seasons have evolved, they have developed them in memorably creative ways, creating a unique relationship with their audience in Glasgow, building long-term partnerships with theatres and companies across Scotland and Europe, presenting international seasons with the National Theatre of Scotland, and extending their own repertoire to include bite-sized summer classics, and not one but two fierce satirical pantomimes a year – oh yes they have!   It’s been a magnificent and completely unexpected explosion of freewheeling theatrical creativity in Scotland; and long may it continue.”

Best Male Performance

Stephen Clyde, Bottom, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bard in the Botanics

“Stephen Clyde’s sincere yet brilliantly inventive performance as Shakespeare’s Bottom was the stand-out performance from a year full of stand-out performances. Clyde not only commanded the stage with brilliantly performed shenanigans that consistently had audiences in fits of laughter but also found quiet moments of tenderness many previous actors playing the role had neglected.”

Best Female Performance

Sponsored by STV

Ann Louise Ross, Mill Laverello, Further than the Furthest Thing, Dundee Rep Theatre

“Ann Louise Ross was outstanding as the free-spirited islander, whose powerful identification with her place of birth drives her relentless campaign to return home from exile.  As the emotional heart of Zinnie Harris’s play, Ross was by turns contagiously funny, feisty and heartbreaking.”

Best Ensemble

Sponsored by Equity

A Christmas Carol, National Theatre of Scotland

“From the minute Benny Young’s Scrooge indicated where each member of the audience was to sit, the cast worked together to draw us in to a perfectly-realised, intimate, Dickensian world. They were hosts, musicians and puppeteers as well as actors in the show that had the whole of Glasgow scrambling for tickets.”

Best Director

Dominic Hill, Betrayal, Citizens Theatre Company

“Dominic Hill’s production of Pinter’s Betrayal was a superb start to his directorship of the Citizens Theatre.  Brilliantly accomplished in every department, from the casting to the excellent use of a revolving stage, it captured utterly the raw energy, the intense atmosphere, the captivating, sparse poetry and the clever comedy of this modern classic.”

Best Design

Neil Warmington (set), Philip Gladwell (lighting), Elizabeth Ogilvie (water), Further than the Furthest Thing, Dundee Rep Theatre

“Neil Warmington filled his set with 29,000 litres of water to capture the ebb and flow of Zinnie Harris’ island-set play. Elizabeth Ogilvie helped project the ripples onto the back wall and Philip Gladwell made it look even more beautiful with a ravishing lighting design.”

Best Music and Sound

Paddy Cunneen, King Lear, Citizens Theatre Company

“You didn’t notice at first, but all round the edges of the set for King Lear, were the upturned hulks of old pianos. These were banged, plucked and strummed to bring an unsettling and otherworldly atmosphere to Shakespeare’s great tragedy. It was a bold and original contribution by the multitalented Paddy Cunneen.”

Best Technical Presentation

Sponsored by Northern Light

Five-Minute Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland

“For once, it wasn’t the pin point accuracy or the polished slickness of the endeavour that impressed: it was the sheer scale of the ambition which made Five Minute Theatre – 24 hours of uninterrupted, brand new theatre, streamed live from all over Scotland, to the world – such an astonishing technical triumph.”

Best Production for Children and Young People

Too Many Penguins, Frozen Charlotte and the MacRobert, Stirling

“It would have been easy for Frozen Charlotte to play just the cute’n’cuddly card with Too Many Penguins – but instead they offered the under-threes a delightfully accessible situation comedy about a reclusive polar bear and his exuberant penguin neighbour in which live actors and soft-toy puppets charmed everyone and even the adults couldn’t puzzle out how all the penguins kept popping up everywhere!”

Best New Play

Sponsored by W&P Longreach – Theatre Insurance Brokers:

Kieran Hurley, Beats, the Arches

“Kieran Hurley may still only be in his 20s, but his dramatised observations of the early 1990s free party scene in BEATS are authentically spot-on. Accompanied by DJ Jonny Whoop, Hurley not only performs his interlocking monologues with a mix of subtlety, seriousness and wit, but, shot through with an insight and empathy that is akin to a rave generation version of equally audacious solos by Eric Bogosian and the late Spalding Gray, has written a piece that is fantastic writing on any level.”

Best Production

A Christmas Carol, National Theatre of Scotland

“In an old Victorian meeting-room at Film City – still better known to most people as the old Govan Town Hall – Graham McLaren and the National Theatre of Scotland created an astonishingly powerful and detailed  piece of immersive theatre, based on one the greatest and most humane of all Christmas stories.  From the meticulous detail of the design, through the use of sound, music and puppetry, to a superb series of performances from the five-strong acting emsemble, this version of A Christmas Carol was an absolutely complete piece of theatre, adored by both adults and children, that made a profound impact on last year’s Christmas season in Scottish theatre.”

The CATS judging panel for 2012 was made up of: Mary Brennan (The Herald), Mark Brown (The Sunday Herald and the Daily Telegraph), Anna Burnside (The Independent), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Michael Cox (acrossthearts.co.uk), Robert Dawson Scott (The Times), Thom Dibdin (The Stage), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), Allan Radcliffe (The List), Gareth K Vile (The Skinny) and Joy Watters (acrossthearts.co.uk).