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About Us

Awarding the best in Scottish Theatre

The first CATS were awarded in 2003 and comprised of just five categories:

Best Production, Best Male Performance, Best Female Performance, Best Design and Best New Play

The following year five additional categories were added:

Best Director, Best Technical Presentation, Best Production for Children and Young People, Best Ensemble and Best Music and Sound.

In 2023, Best Male and Best Female categories were combined to form the now Outstanding Performance category. The awards are presented annually, usually in early June.

To be eligible for a CATS Award, shows must be substantially produced in Scotland, or developed, rehearsed and premiered in Scotland.


Our Story

One evening in February 2003 while waiting for a play to begin at the Arches, Glasgow, one theatre critic sidled up to his fellow colleagues and said, “I’ve been thinking - Scotland should have awards for theatre.” The reaction was a unanimous ‘Yes!’ - and so the first Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland was formed.

At the launch of the awards in April 2003, the critics announced: “Almost every trade and profession have some sort of annual review of triumphs and achievements. We feel that theatre in Scotland, which produces some excellent work and delights hundreds of thousands of people every year, deserves no less.”

At the beginning of May 2003, after several hours of vigorous and deeply felt debate, where the critics considered over 130 eligible productions, the first Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland were decided.


This first year was somewhat of an experiment in which the critics piloted the scheme to gauge how much support the awards might have. The feedback from the theatre community was extremely positive and so the following year they moved forward to a more permanent footing, which largely remains the same today.

Our Sponsors

The Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) is generously supported by the following sponsors.

Previous Sponsorship

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