2019 CATS winners announced

  • Traverse Theatre’s Ulster American triumphs
  • Perth Theatre’s Lost at Sea scoops two awards
  • John Michie picks up Best Male Performance award
  • Red Bridge wins Best Production for Children and Young people for third year running
  • CATS celebrates theatre giant Giles Havergal’s 81st birthday
David Ireland’s Ulster American, earning the gongs at CATS 19

The Traverse Theatre’s production Ulster American has triumphed at the 2019 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, picking up Best Female Performance (Lucianne McEvoy) Best New Play (David Ireland), and the supreme award, Best Production. The awards were presented today, 9 June 2019, at Glasgow’s Tramway.

“We live in an age of old and unprintable hatreds that suddenly spring back to life; and if there is a playwright born for that moment, it’s David Ireland,” says Joyce McMillan co-convenor of CATS. “In Ulster American he whips up a tragi-comic storm of razor-sharp, taboo-busting dialogue that spirals shockingly towards violence; and Gareth Nicholls’s superb, fast-moving Traverse production combined with three terrific performances from Lucianne McEvoy, Robert Jack and Darrell D’Silva to create one of last year’s huge smash hits.”

Perth Theatre’s production of Lost at Sea, Morna Young’s play inspired by the loss of her father at sea when she was a child, picked up two awards, Best Director (Ian Brown) and Best Ensemble.

“Morna Young’s Lost at Sea is a requiem to the fishermen of the North-East who perished in the waves. Almost operatic in construction, the voices of the ensemble, individually and as a chorus, create an unforgettable portrait of the hardships and heartbreak faced by the fishing community.”

Joy Watters, Across the Arts

Meanwhile, the Best Male Performance award went to Holby City/Taggart star John Michie for his memorable performance as the senior fire officer suffering from severe post-traumatic stress after the first fire at the Glasgow School of Art in Rob Drummond’s The Mack (A Play, a Pie and a Pint at Oran Mor, presented in association with the Traverse Theatre).

“John Michie played the role of the traumatised fire commander with a heart-wrenching dignity and subtlety. His performance conveyed with reverberative power the emotional reckoning of a stoical, west of Scotland man who, following the first fire at the Glasgow School of Art, is finally brought down by a career’s worth of trauma.”

Mark Brown – The Herald on Sunday, the Sunday National and the Daily Telegraph

Red Bridge Arts, the North Queensferry-based company, scooped the Best Production for Children and Young People award for the third year in a row, this year for Stick by Me co-produced with Andy Manley and Ian Cameron.

The awards were presented by one of the giants of Scottish Theatre, Giles Havergal, whose 81st birthday the CATS also celebrated at the event.

Elsewhere in the awards Best Design was won by Shona Reppe, Ailsa Paterson, Selene Cochrane and Chris Edser for Baba Yaga, the international co-production between Imaginate (Edinburgh) and Windmill Theatre Company (Adelaide, Australia). The Best Technical award was picked up by The End of Eddy, the Untitled Projects and Unicorn Theatre co-production, and Best Use of Music and Sound went to Birds of Paradise and the National Theatre of Scotland for My Left Right Foot – The Musical.

Full list of winners

“This has been another bumper year for theatre produced in Scotland,” says CATS co-convenor Mark Fisher. “This was reflected in the large number of productions that were eligible for the awards and in the spread of winners between so many different companies.”

“It was tremendous to welcome Giles Havergal as our guest presenter,” he adds. “Giles made an unrivalled contribution to Scottish theatre in his over 30 years at the helm of the Citizens, which helped lay the foundations for so much of the work produced in Scotland today.”

The 2019 CATS were generously supported by: STV (Best Female Performance), Equity (Best Ensemble), Scottish Drama Training Network (Best Director), BECTU (Best Technical Presentation),Young Scot (Best Production for Children and Young People), and also by the Mackintosh Foundation, BBC Scotland Radio Drama and The List.

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Notes for Editors

The CATS judging panel for 2019 comprised Mary Brennan (The Herald), Mark Brown (Herald on Sunday/Sunday National and The Daily Telegraph), Anna Burnside (Daily Record), Paul F Cockburn (BroadwayBaby), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Michael Cox (Across the Arts), Thom Dibdin (The Stage and AllEdinburghTheatre.com), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), David Pollock (The Independent), Allan Radcliffe (The Times), Amy Taylor (The Skinny) and Joy Watters (Across the Arts).

2019 CATS shortlists announced

Friday 10 May 2019

For further information, interviews and images contact: Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesley@newcenturypr.com

My Left Right Foot – the Musical by Birds of Paradise and the National Theatre of Scotland. Photograph: Christopher Bowen.
  • Birds of Paradise/National Theatre of Scotland production My Left Right Foot – The Musical tops the shortlists
  • The Traverse theatre scoops 11 nominations across four different productions
  • Five nominations for Ballyturk (Tron Theatre). Four nominations for Lost At Sea (Perth Theatre)
  • Jessica Hardwick, Cora Bissett, Irene Macdougall and Lucianne McEvoy shortlisted for Best Female Performance
  • John Michie, Grant O’Rourke, Lorn Macdonald and Darrell D’Silva shortlisted for Best Male Performance
  • 2019 CATS will be presented at Tramway on Sunday 9 June

A company that initially had its three-year funding withdrawn by Creative Scotland last year, sparking a public outcry, has seen one of its productions top the shortlists for the annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. Birds of Paradise, Scotland’s only professional, disability-led arts organisation, is shortlisted in no fewer than six award categories for My Left Right Foot – The Musical including Best Ensemble, Best Director for Robert Softley Gale, and Best Production. The show, which was co-produced by The National Theatre of Scotland, is a satirical response to the controversial, Oscar -winning film based on the life of Christy Brown. It has just had its international premiere at the World Theatre Festival in Japan and will be staged at the Brighton International Festival next week and in Dundee from 21 – 25 May.

“The initial decision to cut regular funding for Birds of Paradise seemed out of tune with Creative Scotland’s commitment to supporting arts that are by and for everyone,” says Joyce McMillan, co-convenor of The Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. “Theatre should be inclusive, and this great show demonstrates how Birds of Paradise have become a vital part of Scotland’s theatre scene over the last 25 years, creating award-winning work in which artists with disability and without can work together to produce world-class, thought-provoking entertainment, for audiences everywhere.”

“Not only did Robert Softley Gale’s take on the controversial Oscar-winning film My Left Foot stand up for disabled people’s right to be heard, but it did it in a brilliantly humorous and theatrical way, in one of the finest productions of the year.”

“We are so incredibly thrilled to receive these six CATS nominations for My Left Right Foot – The Musical,” says Robert Softley Gale, Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise. “We created the show in co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland to mark our 25th anniversary year. Making a large-scale musical takes so many talented artists working together and it’s a fantastic testament to them that we’ve received this recognition. It wasn’t so long ago that work by disabled artists was seen as being on the fringes, but now – in 2019 – we can finally have the confidence to say we’re a core part of the arts in Scotland. A huge thanks to the CATS panel for their part in making that so.”

Edinburgh’s Traverse theatre scooped 11 nominations across four different productions – Ulster American, Mouthpiece, What Girls Are Made Of and The Mack. Meanwhile, Glasgow’s Tron Theatre received five nominations for Ballyturk and Perth Theatre at Horsecross received four nominations for Lost at Sea.

Holby City star John Michie is nominated for Best Male Performance for his role as The Fireman in The Mack, Rob Drummond’s response (for the Glasgow lunchtime theatre A Play, a Pie and a Pint and the Traverse) to the fires at The Glasgow School of Art. Also nominated are Lorn Macdonald (Declan in Mouthpiece – The Traverse Theatre Company), Darrell D’Silva (Jay Conway in Ulster American – The Traverse Theatre Company) and Outlander actor (and 2015 CATS winner) Grant O’Rourke (Two in Ballyturk – Tron Theatre Company).

Jessica Hardwick, who won the 2018 CATS Best Female Performance award for Knives in Hens, is nominated again, this year for her role as Roxane in the National Theatre of Scotland/Citizens Theatre/Royal Lyceum Edinburgh production of Cyrano de Bergerac. Also shortlisted are Cora Bissett (Cora in What Girls Are Made Of – Traverse Theatre Company), Irene Macdougall (Kate Keller in All My Sons, Dundee Rep Ensemble) and Lucianne McEvoy (Ruth Davenport in Ulster American, Traverse Theatre Company).

Red Bridge Arts (who won the 2018 CATS Award for Best Production for Children and Young People with Andy Cannon for Space Ape) makethe shortlist again this yearwithStick By Me, a piece cocreated with Andy Manley and Ian Cameron. The shortlist also includes Baba Yaga (a collaboration between Edinburgh’s Imaginate and Windmill Theatre Company from Adelaide), The End of Eddy (an Untitled Projects co-production with London’s Unicorn Theatre)andNests (a collaboration between Frozen Charlotte and Stadium Rock).

Scotland continues to be a vibrant home for new writing with over 80 new plays eligible for the 2019 CATS. The shortlists see a fourth nomination for two-time CATS winner Kieran Hurley (Mouthpiece), and first-time nominations in the playwright category for David Ireland (Ulster American) and Robert Softley Gale (My Left Right Foot – The Musical). Shona Reppe picks up a second playwright nomination, this time for a piece co-created with Christine Johnston and Rosemary Myers (Baba Yaga)

For full lists of nominations across the ten award categories see Notes for Editors.

Collaboration continued to characterise theatre produced in Scotland in 2018-9. The nominated productions not only brought together Scottish companies and practitioners, but also include UK-wide and international collaborations including Untitled Projects with London’s Unicorn Theatre and Imaginate with Windmill Theatre Company from Adelaide, Australia

“In these divisive times, it’s heartening to see theatre companies reaching beyond Scotland to make cultural connections with the rest of the world,” says Mark Fisher, co-convenor of the CATS. “In previous years, we have celebrated collaborations with companies from Istanbul, Minneapolis, Naples, Norway, Singapore, Tianjin and elsewhere. Let’s hope such artistic cross-pollination continues to enrich theatre at home and abroad.”

The 2019 CATS will be presented at Tramway on Sunday 9 June. Tickets priced £16.50 (£11 for Young Scot card holders). Transaction free of £1.50 for online and £1.75 for telephone bookings. Book in person at. 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow G41, by telephone on 0845 330 3501 and online via https://tickets.glasgowconcerthalls.com/

For more information on the CATS visit: https://criticsawards.theatrescotland.com

The 2019 CATS were generously supported by: STV (Best Female Performance), Equity (Best Ensemble), Scottish Drama Training Network (Best Director), and BECTU (Best Technical), and Young Scot (Best Production for Children and Young People), and also by the Mackintosh Foundation, BBC Scotland Radio Drama and The List.

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Notes for Editors

The CATS judging panel for 2019 comprised Mary Brennan (The Herald), Mark Brown (Herald on Sunday/Sunday National and The Daily Telegraph), Anna Burnside (Daily Record), Paul F Cockburn (BroadwayBaby), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Michael Cox (Across the Arts), Thom Dibdin (The Stage and AllEdinburghTheatre.com), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), David Pollock (The Independent), Allan Radcliffe (The Times), Amy Taylor (The Skinny) and Joy Watters (Across the Arts).

2019 CATS SHORTLISTS: HERE

Timely production of anti-fascist play is big winner at 2018 CATS

Press release 10 June 2018

  • Rhinoceros scoops four awards including Best Production.
  • Ionesco’s play has powerful resonances with the current global rise of authoritarian populism and fascism.
  • Edinburgh International Festival wins six awards for co-productions.
  • Royal Lyceum named winner in five categories.
  • Best Female Performance Award goes to Jessica Hardwick (Knives in Hens at Perth Theatre).
  • Best New Play Award goes to Peter Arnott for his version of Compton Mackenzie’s The Monarch of The Glen.
  • The awards were presented at Perth Theatre by Blythe Duff. 

A NEW version of a classic play, which responded to the rise of fascism and Nazism in Europe, has topped the 2018 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland. 

The Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Lyceum Theatre, DOT Theatre, Istanbul international co-production Rhinoceros, won four CATS including the supreme award, Best Production. The production also won the awards for Best Director (Murat Daltaban), Best Male Performance (Robert Jack) and Best Music & Sound (Oğuz Kaplangi). 

A timely production staged against the backdrop of the current rising tide of authoritarian nationalism across the globe, Rhinoceros was directed by Turkish director Murat Daltaban, who recently announced that he and his family are relocating from Istanbul to live in Edinburgh. 

Announcing the Best Director Award, Mark Brown of the Sunday Herald and The Daily Telegraph said: “The nomination of Murat Daltaban for his production of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros has a particular significance. The play is a powerful warning about the dangers of conformity, of a mass succumbing to a social miasma that robs us of our culture, our freedom and, ultimately, our humanity. 

“The times in which we live can feel like the 1930s with the film running slightly slower. That is particularly true of Murat’s homeland Turkey, where freedom of thought and expression, not least the freedoms of theatremakers, are currently under serious threat.”

The Edinburgh International Festival was also recognized in two further award categories (Best Design and Best Technical Presentation) for Flight, its commission from Vox Motus and Beacon Arts Centre. The Royal Lyceum, meanwhile, also triumphed in the Best Ensemble category for its production of The Belle’s Stratagem.

The Best Female Performance Award went to Jessica Hardwick for Perth Theatre’s production of David Harrower’s Scottish classic Knives in Hens. The Best New Play Award was won by Peter Arnott for his new version of Compton Mackenzie’s The Monarch of the Glen for Pitlochry Festival Theatre. The Best New Production for Children and Young People award went to Andy Cannon and Red Bridge Arts for Space Ape.

“Fear, isolationism and irrational kinds of ‘group-think’ are increasing forces in our world, and we’re delighted that Scottish theatre – and many of our winning shows – continue to tackle these issues with such a thrilling mixture of wit, seriousness, and theatrical flair,” says Joyce McMillan, CATS co-convenor.

“From our most awarded production Rhinoceros, through Perth Theatre’s brilliant version of Knives In Hens, to a new form of theatre designed to bring the world’s refugee crisis within touching distance in Vox Motus’s Flight, and Peter Arnott’s richly comic yet revealing 21st century take on all the issues of land, class·and identity raised in Compton Mackenzie’s The Monarch Of The Glen, these plays speak to the world we live in with real urgency, but also a strong sense of passion, poetry, and fun.”

“Theatre is all about opening new perspectives on the world we live in, in ways that can be playful, tragic or just plain thrilling; and this year, Scottish theatre carried out that job brilliantly, in what have not always been easy times, for many of Scotland’s theatre companies.” 

“Investment in Scottish theatre is vital for its future,” said CATS co-convenor, Mark Fisher. “We are delighted to be here in Perth Theatre celebrating the reopening of this historic building following its major refurbishment, which will ensure it continues to be a beacon for artistic endeavour for generations to come.”

The Awards were presented by Blythe Duff..

For full list of winners and citations see Notes for Editors.

The 2018 CATS were generously supported by: STV (Best Female Performance), Equity (Best Ensemble), Young Scot (Best Show For Children And Young People), Scottish Drama Training Network (Best Design), and BECTU (Best Technical), and also by the Mackintosh Foundation, BBC Scotland Radio Drama and The List.

The 2018 CATS will be presented on Sunday 10 June. For further details visit:

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Notes for Editors

180 productions were eligible for the 2017 CATS, with 90 eligible for the New Play Award.

The CATS judging panel for 2018 comprised Mary Brennan (The Herald), Irene Brown (edinburghguide.com), Mark Brown (Sunday Herald·and The·Daily Telegraph), Anna Burnside (Daily Record) Paul F Cockburn (BroadwayBaby), Neil Cooper·(The Herald), Michael Cox (Across the Arts), Thom Dibdin (The Stage·and·AllEdinburghTheatre.com), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), David Pollock (The Independent), Allan Radcliffe (The Times)·and Joy Watters (Across the Arts).

Full list of winners

Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesley@newcenturypr.com

Royal Lyceum tops the shortlists for 2018 CATS

Press release 10 May 2018

  • Royal Lyceum gains 12 nominations for four productions across 7 award categories
  • George Costigan nominated for Best Male Performance
  • Two Best Design nominations for Tom Piper – co-creator of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – the stunning red poppies installation at the Tower of London
  • The CATS will be presented at Perth Theatre on Sunday 10 June 2018

The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh has topped the shortlists for the 2018 CATS, which were released today, Thursday 10 May 2018. The theatre has received 12 nominations across four different productions with Rhinoceros – a Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh International Festival, DOT Theatre, Istanbul co-production – being most recognised production (nominated in 7 of the 10 categories).

Perth Theatre has 6 nominations including one for·Jessica Hardwick, first winner of the Billy McColl Award for Most Promising Newcomer in a Scottish Stage Production (2014), who is shortlisted in the Best Female Performance category for·Knives in Hens. Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre received 5 nominations across three different productions, including a Best Male Performance nomination for George Costigan for Long Day’s Journey into Night. 

“This year has been another bumper year for the Royal Lyceum theatre,” says CATS co-convenor, Mark Fisher. “The theatre, which also topped the shortlists last year, has received 12 nominations for four different productions across seven of the award categories.”

“Once again co-productions have been recognised across all award categories including Rhinoceros, an international collaboration with DOT Theatre, Istanbul, which is the most recognised production with 7 nominations,” he adds.

“We’re simply delighted with the range of work recognised in these shortlists,” says co-convener Joyce McMillan, “from powerful productions of the best-loved classics to shows like Nursery Crymes and Flight, which really push at the edges of our concept of theatre.”

“It’s also a huge pleasure to see Perth Theatre firing on all cylinders again, after its three-year rebuilding programme; and we are especially pleased to be holding the Awards Ceremony at Perth this year, to celebrate the tremendous work that’s been done to make that much-loved theatre into a brilliant 21st century resource for the Perth area, and for the whole of Scottish theatre,” she adds. 

In the Best New Play category Peter Arnott’s new version of Compton MacKenzie’s The Monarch of The Glen, Alan Bissett’s (More) Moira Monologues, Zinnie Harris’s Meet Me at Dawn, and Nursery Crymes, by street theatre specialists Mischief La-Bas, are shortlisted.

The CATS awards recognise creativity and excellence across the board. In the technical categories Tom Piper – co-creator of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red (the red poppies installation at the Tower of London) – receives two nominations in the Best Design category (Rhinoceros and Long Day’s Journey into Night), and acclaimed composer Gareth Williams is among the nominees for Best Music (The 306: Day).

Productions for children and young people continue to make a vibrant contribution to theatre making in Scotland. This year Red Bridge Arts have made the shortlist for two different productions, Night Light and Space Ape alongside The Citizens Theatre’s Cinderella and Mamoru Iriguchi’s Eaten.

For full list of nominations see Notes for Editors.

The 2018 CATS has been generously supported by: STV (Best Female Performance), Equity (Best Ensemble) Scottish Drama Training Network (Best Design), and BECTU (Best Technical) The List, BBC Scotland Radio Drama and the Macintosh Foundation

The 2018 CATS will be presented on the afternoon of Sunday 10 June at the refurbished Perth Theatre. Tickets priced £16.50; £11.50 students (inc. a glass of wine on arrival) available from Horsecross

In person at Mill Street Perth PH1 5HZ 

By telephone on 01738 621 031 

Online via https://www.horsecross.co.uk/

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Notes for Editors

180 productions eligible for the 2017 CATS, with 90 eligible for the New Play Award.

The CATS judging panel for 2018 comprised Mary Brennan (The Herald), Irene Brown (edinburghguide.com), Mark Brown (Sunday Herald·and The·Daily Telegraph), Paul F Cockburn (BroadwayBaby), Neil Cooper·(The Herald), Michael Cox (Across the Arts), Thom Dibdin (The Stage·and·AllEdinburghTheatre.com), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), David Pollock (The Independent), Allan Radcliffe (The Times)·and Joy Watters (Across the Arts).

For further information on the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland visit: 

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For further information contact: Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesleyt@newcenturypr.com

Dundee Rep’s Death of a Salesman tops the 15th annual CATS

Press release 11 June 2017

  • Death of A Salesman named Best Production of 2016–17
  • Gender-bending Coriolanus wins Nicole Cooper Best Female Performance Award
  • Acclaimed playwright, Zinnie Harris, scoops her first Best Director Award
  • Black Beauty wins Best Design and Best Production for Children and Young People
  • Celebrated folk singer Karine Polwart shares Best Music and Sound Award
  • Kieran Hurley picks up his second Best New Play Award
  • Awards presented by Gavin Mitchell aka Boabby the Barman in Still Game

Dundee Rep’s production of Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a Salesman has topped the 15th annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS), it was revealed today, 11 June 2017. The production scooped Best Ensemble, Best Male Performance (Billy Mack) and the supreme award, Best Production. 

“Dundee Rep used all the resources of its fine ensemble company to produce a beautiful, memorable and heart-breaking production of Death of a Salesman,” says Scotsman theatre critic and CATS co-convenor Joyce McMillan. “The Rep used superb design and sound to set one of the 20th century’s greatest plays in its full historical context, while always remaining fully focused on the profound and enduring human tragedy at the heart of the story.”

 “Billy Mack’s performance·as Willy Loman was unforgettable,” adds Joy Watters of Across the Arts. “He movingly·ran the gamut of Willy’s emotions,·raging against what life has done to him, bursting into unfounded optimism and finally, heartbreakingly, the realisation that it has all been for nothing.”

Best Female Performance Award this year went to Nicole Cooper for a barnstorming performance in the Bard in the Botanics’ gender-bending Coriolanus, part of Bard in the Botanics on-going commitment to taking women out of the roles of wives and daughters, and seeing them as rulers, leaders, politicians and fighters.

“As Coriolanus in Bard in the Botanics’ stripped-back production of Shakespeare’s war-time classic, Nicole Cooper took on a role usually associated with unhinged machismo, and stomped her way through the Kibble Palace with a whirlwind-like ferocity,” says Neil Cooper, Herald theatre critic. “This not only gave the play a fresh edge of femininity in a still contemporary work, but pointed to a major actor, who can tackle big roles with a mix of fearlessness and sensitivity.”

The acclaimed playwright Zinnie Harris picked up the CATS Award for Best New Play for This Restless House in 2016. This year she won her first ever Best Director Award, for A Number – one of three productions at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh to be recognised with awards in the 15th annual CATS.

“Zinnie Harris’s production of Caryl Churchill’s futuristic drama about cloning reflected brilliantly the careful, sharp-yet-nuanced structure of the play itself,” says Mark Brown of The Sunday Herald and The Telegraph. “Like a great, modernist concerto, her direction combined enthralling dissonance with a deep emotional and psychological connection.”

The Best New Play Award went to Kieran Hurley for Heads Up, the second time that Hurley has won this award following BEATS in 2012. 

The Red Bridge and Traverse Theatre Company production of Black Beauty picked up not only the award for Best Production for Children and Young People, but also for Best Design, underlining the calibre of the work being produced in Scotland for young people.

As well as Best Director for A Number, two further productions at the Royal Lyceum picked up awards: Best Music and Sound – Karine Polwart (composer and musical director), Pippa Murphy (sound designer), Ben Seal (live sound) and Mark Whyles (live sound) for Wind Resistance – and Best Technical Presentation for Alice in Wonderland.

Award sponsors for 2017 are: BECTU, Equity, Scottish Drama Training Network, STV and Young Scot. General sponsors are the Mackintosh Foundation, BBC Scotland Radio Drama and The List.

“We would once again like to thank the sponsors for their generous support,” says CATS co-convenor Mark Fisher. “They make it possible for us to take this moment to celebrate publicly the quality and diversity of theatre being produced in Scotland.”

The 15th annual CATS’ Awards were presented at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh by Gavin Mitchell, known to millions as Boabby the Barman in Still Game and who will take to the boards again as Rick in Casablanca, the Gin Joint Cut at Glasgow’s Oran Mor next month.

For further information on the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland visit: 

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For further information contact: Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesleyt@newcenturypr.com

Boabby the Barman set to serve up the awards at the 2017 CATS

Press release 5 June 2017

Gavin Mitchell, known to millions as Boabby the Barman in Still Game, is to present the awards at the 15th anniversary CATS ceremony this weekend it was announced today, 5 June 2017.

“We are delighted that Gavin is to join us as our guest presenter this year,” says Mark Fisher, CATS co-convenor. “Gavin is known to millions for his role as Boabby the Barman in Still Game and Still Game Live. We expect him to serve up plenty of laughs along with the awards at the CATS.”

“Gavin is as much a presence on the stage as the TV,” adds Joyce McMillan, CATS co-convenor. “He has appeared in glittering productions ranging from panto to Pricilla Queen of the Desert. We are sure he will feel right at home in the glittering CATS ceremony.”

“It’s a pleasure, a privilege and slightly petrifying to present to my peers with the peerless Joyce McMillan at this years CAT awards, ·on what has been another bumper year for productions and exponents of their craft,” says Mitchell “I look forward to seeing friends, colleagues and critics alike for fun , frolics and celebrations.”

The 15th anniversary Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland will be presented at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh on Sunday 11 June. There are a few tickets priced £15 (£10 Festival Theatre Friends) still remaining. Further information on the event and how to book visit: http://www.edtheatres.com/cats

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For further information contact: Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesleyt@newcenturypr.com

Greig’s first season at the Royal Lyceum heads nominations in 2017 CATS

Press release 18 May 2017

  • 15 nominations across five productions for the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh
  • Dundee Rep’s production of Death of a Salesman garners most nominations (shortlisted in six categories)
  • Black Beauty’s five nominations include Best Production for Children and Young People, Best New Play and Best Production
  • Singer-songwriter Karine Polwart gets a Best New Play nomination alongside David Greig, Kieran Hurley and the team behind Black Beauty
  • 19 different productions garner nominations
  • 2017 CATS will be presented on Sunday 11 June at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

David Greig’s first season as artistic director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum dominates the shortlists for the 2017 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS), announced today, 18 May 2017. The Royal Lyceum received 15 nominations for five different productions across eight categories. Meanwhile, Dundee Rep’s production of Death of a Salesman was the most nominated production, being shortlisted in six different categories, including the supreme award, Best Production.

Underlining the calibre of work for children and young people being created in Scotland, Black Beauty, a Red Bridge and Traverse Theatre Company·co-production, has made the shortlist not only for the Best Production for Children and Young People Award, but in the Best Design, Best Director, Best New Play and Best Production categories.

“This year has once again seen tremendous creativity across the board,” says Joyce McMillan, co-convenor of the CATS. “We’re delighted that 19 different productions have made the shortlists, from theatres and companies all across Scotland; they represent a huge range of theatre, from the smallest scale to the largest, and from complex pieces of musical theatre to the most apparently simple solo shows.”

“The range of new work being produced is impressive,” she adds. “This year 84 new plays or devised works premiered in Scotland, and many of these shows stretch and challenge our CATS categories, working with other art forms from music and dance to visual installations, and challenging traditional relationships between theatre and audience.  The sense of creative energy is immense, and we hope that these shortlists help to reflect that exciting, fast-moving theatre scene.”

“Work for younger audiences has always been an important part of theatre in Scotland,” adds co-convenor Mark Fisher. “This year one of the four shortlisted shows nominated for Best Production for Children and Young People – Red Bridge and Traverse Theatre Company’s Black Beauty – is also making several other shortlists including Best New Play and the supreme award category, Best Production, highlighting once again the calibre of work being produced in this field.”

“This year also had a blurring of the lines between genres with performers and composers from both the folk and classical music traditions collaborating with theatremakers to create some truly inspiring work,” he adds.

The Best Male Performance award includes a first nomination for Robert Jack (Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, Dundee Rep Ensemble), a second nomination for both Billy Mack (Willy Loman, Death of a Salesman, Dundee Rep Ensemble) and Gerry Mulgrew (Krapp, Krapp’s Last Tape, Tron Theatre, Glasgow and Paul Brotherston) and a third nomination for Brian Ferguson (Bernard 1, 2 and Michael Black, A Number, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in partnership with Edinburgh International Science Festival). 

Meanwhile, in the Best Female Performance category, three of the actors are nominated for the first time: Lucy Briggs-Owen (Lydia Languish, The Rivals, Citizens Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse), Nicole Cooper (Coriolanus, Coriolanus, Bard in the Botanics) and Louise McCarthy (Bernadette, Cuttin’ a Rug, Citizens Theatre). Gemma McElhinney makes the shortlists for the second time with three roles at Pitlochry Festival Theatre (Kelly Butcher, GamePlan; Rosie Seymore, FlatSpin; and Paige Petite RolePlay).

In the Best New Play category there is a first nomination for Andy Cannon, Andy Manley and Shona Reppe (for Black Beauty) and celebrated singer-songwriter Karine Polwart (for Wind Resistance). Meanwhile, Kieran Hurley is nominated for the third time (for Heads Up, Show and Tell) and David Greig receives his 12th nomination (for The Suppliant Women)

For full details of the nominations see Notes for Editors.

Award sponsors for 2017 are: BECTU, Equity, Scottish Drama Training Network, STV and Young Scot. General sponsors are the Mackintosh Foundation, BBC Scotland Radio Drama and The List.

The 2017 CATS will be presented at a glittering ceremony at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh at 4pm on Sunday 11 June (doors open at 3.30pm). Tickets priced £15 (£10 Festival Theatre Friends) on sale now. For further information and to book visit: http://www.edtheatres.com/cats

For further information, images and interviews contact:

Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 lesleyt@newcenturypr.com

Notes for Editors

163 productions eligible for the 2017 CATS, with 84 eligible for the New Play Award and 33 for the Best Production for Children and Young People Award.

The CATS judging panel for 2017 was made up of: Mary Brennan (The Herald), Irene Brown (edinburghguide.com), Mark Brown (The Sunday Herald and the Daily Telegraph),·Anna Burnside (Daily Record), Paul F Cockburn (Broadway Baby), Neil Cooper (The Herald),·Michael Cox (Across the Arts),·Thom Dibdin (The Stage and AllEdinburghTheatre.com),·Mark Fisher (The Guardian),·Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman),·David Pollock (The Independent), Allan Radcliffe (The Times), Amy Taylor (The Public Reviews and TVBomb), Gareth K Vile (The List) and Joy Watters (Across the Arts).

The waiting is over: Godot scoops Best Production at 2016 CATS

Press release 12 June 2016

  • Citz and Royal Lyceum share top honours
  • Waiting for Godot scoops Best Production and Best Ensemble awards
  • This Restless House picks up three CATS: Best Director, Best Female Performance and Best New Play
  • Lanark wins Best Male Performance, Best Design and Best Technical Presentation
  • Muriel Romanes is recognised with a CATS Whiskers
  • Awards presented by Daniela Nardini and Sanjeev Kohli
  • The top honours were shared by Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre and Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre at the 2016 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, the winners of which were announced at a glittering ceremony today, 12 June 2016. 

“One of the triumphs of the Scottish theatre calendar.”

Waiting for Godot – winner of Best Production and Best Ensemble awards 

The supreme award, Best Production, in the 2016 CATS went to the Royal Lyceum’s production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot with the outstanding cast – Brian Cox, Bill Paterson, John Bett and Benny Young – scooping the Best Ensemble award.

“Mark Thomson’s lucid, precisely choreographed production got under the skin of a modern classic, ensuring it was not just a star vehicle for two very well known actors, but a full-blooded ensemble performance,” says CATS co-convenor Mark Fisher. “It was one of the triumphs of the Royal Lyceum’s 50th-anniversary season and of the whole Scottish theatre calendar.”

“The success of Beckett’s perfectly poised drama depends on every element of the production working in harmony, and each of the characters – Vladimir, Estragon, their visitors Pozzo and Lucky, and even the little boy who appears to tell them that Mr Godot will not come today – supporting all the others. The cast in Mark Thomson’s production achieved this balance perfectly, and offered a masterclass in magnificent acting,” adds CATS co-convenor Joyce McMillan.

Meanwhile, Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre picked up no fewer than six awards which were shared equally between two outstanding shows: This Restless House and Lanark: A Life in Three Acts. 

“An unforgettable piece of theatre.”

This Restless House – winner of three CATS 

Zinnie Harris won the Best New Play award for her reworking of The Oresteia – “an unforgettable piece of theatre, powered by an astounding script and electrifying performances” (Amy Taylor, The Public Reviews/TV Bomb); Dominic Hill won his fifth CATS Best Director award recognising how he pulled all the elements of the show together into a triumphant whole; and Pauline Knowles picked up her first Best Female Performance award, sponsored by STV, for “a remarkable performance which ran the gamut of human, and particularly female, experience, and in which she embodied both Everywoman and the haughtiest of aristocrats” (Mark Brown, Sunday Herald/Telegraph). Knowles’ award was collected by Keith Fleming as she is currently in Shanghai performing in The Garden – a sound Festival commission from John and Zinnie Harris.

“A mighty staging of Alasdair Gray’s epic novel.”

Lanark: A Life in Three Acts – winner of three CATS 

Lanark: A Life in Three Acts won the Best Design award for Laura Hopkins, Nigel Edwards and Simon Wainwright, who between them made the seemingly impossible possible in bringing Gray’s dystopian vision to life; and the Best Technical Presentation award, sponsored by BECTU, for “an extraordinary blend of live action, lighting and sound, animation and projection” (Allan Radcliffe, The Times). Meanwhile, Sandy Grierson, who “proved once again how his powerful and charismatic presence can hold a stage” (Neil Cooper, The Herald), picked up his second Best Male Performance award, sponsored by the Scottish Drama Training Network, following Fergus Lamont in 2007.

The Best Production for Children and Young People award, sponsored by Young Scot, was won by Uncanny Valley, a Borderline Theatre co-production with the Gaiety Theatre, commissioned by Edinburgh International Science Festival working in partnership with Imaginate. “Drummond’s interaction with young audiences encourages them to explore, and voice, their own ideas about our relationship with technology and ongoing advances in artificial intelligence,” says Mary Brennan of The Herald. “Issue-based theatre is rarely as witty, thought-provoking or as open to audience reactions as this piece for children and young people.”

The Best Music and Sound award, sponsored by Guitar Guitar, was won by the National Theatre of Scotland’s Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, bringing to 30 the NTS tally of CATS wins.

The 2016 CATS Whiskers was awarded to Muriel Romanes, who recently stepped down as long-term artistic director of Stellar Quines, for her vision and determination which have been a tremendous force in Scottish theatre-making as a whole. Romanes is currently working in Canada and the award was collected on her behalf by leading Scottish actor Maureen Beattie.

The 2016 Awards were presented by acclaimed actor Daniela Nardini, who will make a welcome return to the stage in Jumpy at the Lyceum later this year, and leading comedian, writer and actor Sanjeev Kohli who wowed audiences in Still Game Live last year.

This year the CATS welcomed two new award sponsors. BECTU (Best Technical Presentation) and the Scottish Drama Training Network (Best Male Performance). They joined STV (Best Female Performance), Equity (Best Ensemble), Guitar Guitar (Best Music and Sound) and Young Scot (Best Production for Children and Young People) as award sponsors and the three CATS general supporters: The List, The Mackintosh Foundation and BBC Scotland Radio Drama.

Full list of winners here.

Further information on the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland visit: www.criticsawards.theatrescotland.com and follow on Twitter @catsawards #CATS16

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For further information, images, interviews and press tickets for the ceremony contact:

Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesleyt@newcenturypr.com

Notes for Editors

* The CATS judging panel for 2016 was made up of: Mary Brennan (The Herald), Irene Brown (edinburghguide.com), Mark Brown (The Sunday Herald and the Daily Telegraph), Anna Burnside (Daily Record), Paul F Cockburn (Broadway Baby), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Michael Cox (Across the Arts), Thom Dibdin (The Stage and AllEdinburghTheatre.com), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), David Pollock (The Independent), Allan Radcliffe (The Times), Amy Taylor (The Public Reviews and TVBomb), Gareth K Vile (The List) and Joy Watters (Across the Arts).

Daniela Nardini and Sanjeev Kohli to present the 2016 CATS

Press release 8 June 2016

Acclaimed actor Daniela Nardini and comedian, writer and actor Sanjeev Kohli are to present the prestigious Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland this year it was revealed today, 8 June.

It was recently announced that Nardini, who shot to fame as Anna in the cult series This Life, would be making a welcome return to the stage later this year. She will be performing in Jumpy as part of David Grieg’s first season as artistic director of the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh.

Renowned comedian, writer and actor Sanjeev Kohli is known to millions as Navid in Still Game, and he wowed audiences at the sell-out Still Game Live at Glasgow’s Hydro last year. “His musical number at the end of the show will live long in the memory,” says Sunday Herald and Telegraph critic Mark Brown.

“We are thrilled to have Daniela and Sanjeev with us for this year’s CATS,” say co-convenors Joyce McMillan and Mark Fisher. “They’re both tremendously talented and well-loved figures in Scotland’s creative community, they love working together (they both appeared in Annie Griffin’s 2005 film, Festival), and their presence will bring a huge extra sparkle to our ceremony, along with plenty of fun.” 

A few tickets remain for the 2016 CATS at the Royal Lyceum Theatre on the afternoon of Sunday 12 June. Visit from http://lyceum.org.uk/whats-on/production/critics-awards-for-theatre-in-2016 to book.

Further information on the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland visit: www.criticsawards.theatrescotland.com and follow on Twitter @catsawards #CATS16

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For further information, images, interviews and press tickets for the ceremony contact:

Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesleyt@newcenturypr.com

A–Z of Scottish theatre recognised in the 2016 CATS shortlists

Press release 16 May 2016

  • Lanark, This Restless House and Waiting for Godot lead the nominations.
  • 20 different productions recognised in 2016 shortlists.
  • 179 new shows produced in Scotland in the last twelve months.
  • Award ceremony to take place at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh on Sunday 12 June.

FROM Angela Darcy to Zinnie Harris, the A–Z of theatre produced in Scotland over the last year has been recognised in the shortlists for the 14th annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) which were released today. Heading the list are two productions from Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre – Lanark: A Life in Three Acts and This Restless House – both of which are nominated in five categories. Meanwhile in Edinburgh, the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s production of. Waiting for Godot, which starred Brian Cox and Bill Paterson, gets four nominations.

The Citizens Theatre co-production with the Edinburgh International Festival of Lanark: A Life in Three Acts, based on the seminal novel by Alasdair Gray, receives five nominations including Best Production. It also results in a third Best Male Performance nomination for actor Sandy Grierson. Also receiving five nominations is the Citz co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland of Zinnie Harris’s This Restless House (based on the Oresteia). It is recognised in categories including Best Director (Dominic Hill) and Best Production, and results in a first Best Female Performance nomination for Pauline Knowles.

The Royal Lyceum’s production of Waiting for Godot, meanwhile, is nominated in four categories including Best Director (Mark Thomson), Best Production and Best Ensemble, recognising the joint contribution of actors Brian Cox, Bill Paterson, John Bett and Benny Young.

Joining Sandy Grierson in the Best Male Performance category are Cliff Burnett, Barrie Hunter and Paul Higgins (known to millions as Malcolm Tucker’s sidekick, Jamie McDonald, in The Thick of It and In the Loop). Meanwhile, Maureen Beattie receives her third CATS nomination for Best Female Performance alongside Pauline Knowles, Angela Darcy, and EastEnders actor Emmanuella Cole.

For full shortlists see Notes for Editors.

“This has been another vintage year for theatre in Scotland with no fewer than 20 productions recognised in the shortlists,” says Mark Fisher co-convenor of CATS.  “That so many different productions have made the shortlists demonstrates tangibly the breadth of creative talent in Scottish theatre today.”

“Theatre is a collaborative art-form, and once again we have seen some incredibly fruitful partnerships both within and outwith Scotland,” adds Joyce McMillan, CATS co-convenor. “For example, two co-commissions from the Edinburgh International Science Festival – Uncanny Valley and Lost at Sea – make the shortlist for Best Production for Children and Young People, and a co-production between Scotland and Norway, Drift by Vision Mechanics of Leith, is nominated in three categories.  And our most nominated production, Lanark, is a co-production between one of our greatest companies, the Citizens’, and the Edinburgh International Festival.”

“Once again, our nominations range in scale from short shows staged on a minimal budget to massive main stage productions featuring global stars; so we’ll be celebrating the sheer diversity of Scottish theatre, as well as its greatest achievements, when we get together at the Lyceum on 12 June.” 

Two new award sponsors were also confirmed today. BECTU is the new sponsor of the Best Technical Presentation Award and the Scottish Drama Training Network has come on board as sponsor of Best Male Performance. They join STV (Best Female Performance), Equity (Best Ensemble), Guitar Guitar (Best Music and Sound) and Young Scot (Best Production for Children and Young People) as award sponsors and the three CATS general supporters: The List, The Mackintosh Foundation and BBC Scotland Radio Drama.

“We are delighted to welcome new award sponsors BECTU and the Scottish Drama Training Network,” adds Mark Fisher. “The support of all our sponsors is greatly appreciated. It shows how much the contribution of the many creative people that go into making theatre is valued.”

The 2016 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland will be presented at a glittering ceremony on the afternoon of Sunday 12 June, 2016 at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Tickets priced £15/£10 (students) from http://lyceum.org.uk/whats-on/production/critics-awards-for-theatre-in-2016

Further information on the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland visit: www.criticsawards.theatrescotland.com and follow on Twitter @catsawards  #CATS16

For further information, images, interviews and press tickets for the ceremony contact:

Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 / lesleyt@newcenturypr.com

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Notes for Editors

• The Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) are organised annually and awarded by the theatre critics of Scotland to celebrate the best Scottish theatre achievements in the theatre year May–April. The first CATS were awarded for the year 2002–03 in five categories: best production, male performance, female performance, design and new play. Since then they have been awarded annually in early June for the original five categories and for five additional categories: director, technical presentation, production for children and young people, ensemble and music and sound.

• The CATS judging panel for 2016 was made up of: Mary Brennan (The Herald), Irene Brown (edinburghguide.com), Mark Brown (The Sunday Herald and the Daily Telegraph), Anna Burnside (Daily Record), Paul F Cockburn (Broadway Baby), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Michael Cox (Across the Arts), Thom Dibdin (The Stage and AllEdinburghTheatre.com), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), David Pollock (The Independent), Allan Radcliffe (The Times), Amy Taylor (The Public Reviews and TVBomb), Gareth K Vile (The List) and Joy Watters (Across the Arts).

• 179 productions were eligible for the 2916 CATS of which 100 which were eligible for the New Writing Award and 18 for the work for the Children and Young People Award.