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:


For further information contact: Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 /

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 to book.

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


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

Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474 /

Karen Dunbar and Andy Arnold to present the 2015 CATS

Press release 3 June 2015

Leading comedian and actor Karen Dunbar is to present the 2015 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) it was announced today. The Chewin’ the Fat star, who has made a reputation as a stage actor with regular appearances in the King’s, Glasgow, panto, and more recently took on the role of Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Tron Theatre, will be joined as presenter by Andy Arnold, artistic director of the Tron Theatre and founder of Glasgow’s Arches.

“We are delighted that Karen and Andy are to present this year’s awards,” says CATS co-convenor, Joyce McMillan. “Karen is a real star of both stage and television, well loved by audiences for her appearances in Chewin’ the Fat, and for unforgettable comic performances as a far-from-conventional Fairy Godmother in the Glasgow King’s panto.  The range of her work is amazing – she played a key role alongside the dancing Tunnock’s Tea Cakes in last year’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, and has recently taken on one of the most challenging of all theatre roles, Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, at the Tron, where we will hold this year’s CATS ceremony.

“Andy Arnold, who directed Karen’s acclaimed performance in that show, has been one of the most important figures in Scottish theatre for more than 30 years, particularly through his trailblazing work at the Arches – whose future is sadly currently under threat – and now through the terrific programme of work he produces and hosts at the Tron, one of the true hubs of Scottish theatre. We are delighted to bring the CATS Awards ceremony back to the Tron for a second time, not least because Andy and his team are such wonderful, supportive hosts to us, as they are to so many Scottish theatre companies and artists.

The 2015 CATS shortlists are dominated by the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, which garnered no fewer than 17 nominations for six different productions, and is recognised in eight of the ten CATS categories. 

The 2015 CATS Award ceremony will take place in Glasgow’s Tron Theatre on the afternoon of Sunday 14 June. Tickets, priced £15 available in person, by telephone on 0141 552 4267 and online via

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


For further CATS information, images and interviews contact Lesley Booth 0779 941 4474


Sunday 14 June 2015 at 3.30pm

The Tron Theatre

Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2015

Join the cream of Scottish theatre as the annual award ceremony returns to the Tron. The ceremony is followed by the opportunity to mingle with the winners.

Tickets priced £15 from the box office, by telephone on 0141 552 4267 and online at 

Acclaimed stage and screen actor Bill Paterson to present 2014 CATS

Press release 4 June 2014

Acclaimed stage and screen actor Bill Paterson is to present the 2014 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) it was announced today, 3 June 2014. Glasgow-born Paterson, who is currently working on the new screen drama Outlander, will join the cream of Scottish theatre at the Citizens in Glasgow this coming Sunday, 8 June. 

“We are delighted that Bill is able to join us for the 2014 Awards this weekend at the Citz,” says Joyce McMillan, co-convenor of CATS. “Bill is a true star of stage and film who began his professional career at the Citizens, with the Theatre for Youth company that later became TAG, and was a member of the legendary first 7:84 Scotland company that created and performed The Cheviot, The Stag And The Black Black Oil.  It will be such a thrill to have him with us on Sunday.”

“This has been a good year for Scottish theatre,” says Bill Paterson, “and I am delighted to be able to celebrate it on Sunday!”

Known for his many film and TV appearances including The Singing Detective, The Crow Road, Sea of Souls and Criminal Justice, Paterson is also a committed stage actor. A founder member of 7:84, he was also a member of the company which performed John Byrne’s first play, Writer’s Cramp. Paterson was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance as Schweik in Schweik in the Second World War. He is also a patron of Scottish Youth Theatre and his book of Glasgow stories, Tales from the Back Green, was published in 2008.

Previous presenters of the CATS include Alan Cumming, Vicky Featherstone, Maureen & Johnny Beattie and John Byrne.

The 2014 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland ceremony will take place at the Citizens Theatre at 3.30pm on 8 June. Among the leading productions up for awards are Dragon, Huff, Crime and Punishment and the Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler with Blythe Duff nominated for the Best Female Performance award for the second year in a row. A few remaining tickets priced £15/£10 (students) are available from the box office, by telephone on 0141 429 0022 and online at 

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


For further CATS information, images and interviews contact:

Lesley Booth, New Century PR, 0779 941 4474

John Byrne to present 2013 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland

Press release 5 June 2013

  • Vicky Featherstone to be recognised with special CATS Whiskers Award

THE creative genius behind The Slab Boys trilogy and Tutti Frutti, John Byrne, is to present the 2013 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) and the first artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland is to be recognised by a CATS Whiskers Award it was announced today, 5 June 2013.

“We are thrilled that John Byrne will join us at this year’s CATS ceremony,” says Joyce McMillan, co-convenor of the CATS. “John has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Traverse, with many of his plays premiering there. As we celebrate this year’s CATS Awards at the Traverse, a theatre with a worldwide reputation for new writing, we are especially pleased that our guest presenter will be a playwright, and one whose work has had a transforming impact on a whole generation of Scottish theatremakers.”

“Over the years the Traverse has done so much to promote new work by Scottish writers,” adds Mark Fisher co-convenor of the CATS. “In the 1970s it had the foresight to support John’s debut work, which was a ground-breaking moment in Scottish theatre. And that support for new talent continues to this day. It is no surprise that three of the nominations for Best New Play in the 2013 CATS are Traverse productions or co-productions.”

“I am delighted to be part of the CATS 2013,” says John Byrne. “It is tantamount to passing on the ‘baton’ to a future generation of young theatre practitioners and sending them back into the fray with renewed energy and vigour – all of them winners in my book.”

“We’re delighted at the news that John Byrne will be playing such an important part in the CATS Award ceremony as a key figure in the history of the Traverse and the landscape of Scottish theatre,”  adds Orla O’Loughlin, artistic director of the Traverse Theatre. “A true artist who is as cutting-edge now as when his work debuted at the Traverse, we are thrilled that he will join us for this special event in our 50th year.”

One of Scotland’s great polymaths, Byrne was born in Paisley in 1940. He was destined to work in the carpet factories that form the setting of his debut trilogy before being accepted as a Fine Art student at The Glasgow School of Art. In a career spanning almost 40 years he has written for the stage, radio and TV with highlights including The Slab Boys, Tutti Frutti and Your Cheatin’ Heart, and versions of Russian classics The Government Inspector, Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard.  Premiering in Edinburgh in 1978, The Slab Boys went on to be staged in New York with a cast that included Kevin Bacon, Val Kilmer and Sean Penn. Byrne is also an acclaimed artist. In the early ‘60s he designed covers for Penguin Books and later went on to design record covers for artists including Donovan, The Beatles, Gerry Rafferty and Bill Connolly. Several of his paintings are in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland and he has had a number of high profile exhibitions in recent years. 

The CATS Whiskers is an occasional award given to celebrate an outstanding achievement in Scottish theatre. The first director of the National Theatre of Scotland, Vicky Featherstone, who is now the artistic director of the Royal Court in London, will be only the second recipient of this special award.

“Vicky has made an outstanding contribution to Scottish Theatre,” says Joyce McMillan. “Under her guidance the National Theatre of Scotland has grown into an internationally acclaimed institution producing many world-beating shows from global hits Black Watch and The Strange Undoing Of Prudencia Hart to mainstage versions of Peer Gynt and Men Should Weep, and dozens of inspiring smaller-scale projects that have played in theatre and halls across Scotland.”

“We believe that Vicky made an absolutely brilliant job of a historic and immensely complex task, particularly in taking on – ·and making her own – the idea of a national ·theatre ‘without walls. ·It is difficult to imagine any other director who could have led the NTS through its opening years with such a combination of skill, creativity, and real, passionate engagement with Scotland and its stories,” she adds.

“The quality of the work produced and co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland since its foundation has been recognised by the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland on many occasions,” adds Mark Fisher. “This year the NTS has received nominations for no fewer than six different shows: Macbeth, A Doll’s House, The Guid Sisters, Ménage à Trois, Ignition and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.”

“I am obviously delighted to be the recipient of the CATS Whiskers award,” says Vicky Featherstone. “The eight years I spent with the National Theatre of Scotland creating and producing work on stages across Scotland was an extraordinary period in my life and one which will always have a special place in my heart. I learnt more about theatre, what it is for and its true value in our lives than I could ever have imagined. For that transformation I am eternally grateful. I am deeply proud too of the bravery, talent and passion of the Scottish artists and the hunger and challenge of the audiences I had the pleasure of working with and for. We are all the cats whiskers, every person who bought a ticket, stood in the cold, uttered a word on stage, made one idea come to life, every person who has worked with us. Congratulations to all who shared the early years of the National Theatre  of Scotland’s journey with me. This is for all of us. And good luck too for the next precious part of that journey. I can’t wait to be amazed.”

Now in their 11th year, the prestigious CATS recognise the vibrancy and quality of theatre produced in Scotland. The 2013 nominations range from large-scale productions to solo performances and encompass both theatre-based and site-specific work. No fewer than 27 different productions staged across Scotland from Shetland to the Borders have made the CATS shortlists this year underlining the calibre of the work being produced throughout the country. 

The 2013 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, will be presented at a sell-out event on Sunday 9 June 2013. For further information the CATS visit:


For further CATS information, images and interviews contact:

Lesley Booth, New Century PR , 0779 941 4474

Alan Cumming to present Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland

Press release 23 May 2012

Alan Cumming, the star of X Men, Spy Kids and the James Bond movie Golden Eye, will present the 10th annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow on Sunday 10th June, 2012.

Joyce McMillan and Mark Fisher, co-conveners of the CATS, said: “Alan Cumming is part of a game-changing generation of Scottish artists who have helped to transform Scotland’s image on the international stage, and we are thrilled that he will be joining us as our guest presenter.  Many of the CATS judges have been following him since his early dazzling work at the RSAMD, and have enjoyed his performances ever since, from the hilarity of Victor and Barry to the Greek tragedy of the National Theatre of Scotland’s The Bacchae.  We’re delighted that he’ll be part of our 2012 celebration of theatre in Scotland.” 

In between rehearsals for National Theatre of Scotland’s Macbeth which opens at Tramway, Glasgow on Wednesday 13th June, Alan Cumming commented: “I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, and celebrating another great year of Scottish theatre at the Tron Theatre for the CATS awards.”

Originally from Aberfeldy and now based in New York, Mr Cumming is working with directors John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg to create his own solo multimedia version of this chilling tale.

The National Theatre of Scotland has 12 nominations for awards spread across seven different productions. Its single most nominated production is Graham McLaren’s  expressionist version of A Christmas Carol.  Its bold Five Minute Theatre experiment, 24 hours of short plays streamed live over the internet to celebrate its fifth birthday last summer has also been nominated for best technical presentation.

Other heavily fancied shows include Dundee Rep’s Further than the Furthest Thing and Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre’s recent production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal. 

However, the nominations have also seen first time entries for Bard in the Botanics (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Shona Reppe Puppets (The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean), Magnetic North (Pass the Spoon), Theatre Jezebel (Days of Wine and Roses) and Frozen Charlotte (Too Many Penguins).

In addition, Rachel O’Riordan, who only took over as artistic director at Perth Theatre last summer, saw her production of Frank McGuinness’ Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me pick up three nominations for Best Actor, Best Ensemble and Best Director.

The CATS celebrated its 10th year by announcing a new sponsorship deal with BBC Scotland’s Radio Drama department which joins a roster of sponsors including STV, W&P Longreach–Theatre Insurance Brokers, Equity, the actors union and Northern Light, the specialist theatre suppliers.

It also announced the introduction of a new occasional award, known as the CATS Whiskers which will be given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to theatre in Scotland that isn’t already reflected in the other awards. The winner will be announced on Monday 4th June, 2012. 

Of the 202 productions considered for nomination, 123 were eligible for Best New Play and 36 were created for children and young people.  A total of 23 shows have reached the final nominations stage and the winners will be announced at the CATS Awards ceremony on Sunday 10th June, 2012 at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.

The event is open to members of the public and offers a unique opportunity for audiences to come together with the cream of the Scottish theatre community to celebrate the contribution that work produced in Scotland makes to the cultural life of the country.

Tickets cost £15 (entry to the awards ceremony, a pre and post show glass of fizz and light refreshments) and can be purchased through the Tron Theatre, box office. For further information on the CATS visit:

Gregory’s Girl To Present Critics’ Award For Theatre In Scotland 2011

Press release 8 June 2011

With the excitement mounting ahead of this Sunday’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland ceremony we are delighted to announce that multi-talented Scottish actor, singer and presenter Clare Grogan will lead the festivities – and the revelations – as this year’s star host.

The bubbly star shot to fame at the age of 19 as Susan in the classic Scottish film Gregory’s Girl after being discovered in a Glasgow restaurant by Local Hero director Bill Forsyth. From here she went on to support Siouxsie and the Banshees and came to be described as ‘the Shirley Temple of punk’ during her time fronting the band Altered Images, whose successes included 1981’s top ten hit Happy Birthday.

After the band split in 1984 Clare returned to her acting career and has since starred in a string of popular television series including Taggart (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Father Ted (Hat Trick), Red Dwarf (BBC) and Skins (Company Pictures). She has presented for VH 1 and on shows as varied as Planet Football (Channel 4) and Scottish Passport (STV). She appeared as a contestant on Masterchef (BBC), and written a book aimed at teenagers, Tallulah and the Teenstars.

Throughout her varied career, Clare has continued to take on demanding stage roles including a notable performance at the Edinburgh Fringe as a Nazi officer’s wife who falls in love with a young Jewish woman in Forbidden. Never afraid to push her professional boundaries or to take on new creative challenges – and with her enduring links to the Scottish stage – who better to lead the festivities in this year’s celebration of Scottish theatre?

Clare Grogan says of her appearance: “Any opportunity I can get to support Scottish theatre is something I will take up. It was very much part of my culture growing up in Scotland. Just to be able to support that in any way is a genuine delight. It is so important to acknowledge the great work that goes into theatre.”

Joyce McMillan, CATS co-convener adds: “We are delighted that Clare Grogan will join us at 2011’s CATS Awards as our star guest presenter. Whether Clare is appearing as an actor, singer or herself, she brings with her a wonderful generosity of spirit and openness that adds a magical dimension to Scottish theatre and entertainment.”

Now in its ninth year, the CATS has become a highlight of the theatrical calendar in Scotland, celebrating the actors, directors playwrights and other artists who have made the most thrilling contributions to the industry.

Tickets cost £15 (including live entertainment, entry to the awards ceremony, a pre and post show glass of fizz and light refreshments) and can be purchased through the Festival Theatre box office. For further information on the CATS visit


CATS organisers would like to thank The Mackintosh Foundation, the charity set up by theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh to promote and develop theatrical, musical and dramatic arts, for its pledge of £3,000 over three years to support this unique event. In addition, technical services company Northern Light, insurance specialists W&P Longreach have each donated £500 a year until 2012 to support the individual awards for Best Technical Presentation, Best Male Performance and Best New Play, while media company STV has pledged £500 a year for five years to support the award for Best Female Performance. The list of sponsors is joined by Equity which is supporting the award for Best Ensemble. Equity has kindly pledged £500 to support the award for three years. The ceremony will be sponsored by catering company Appetite Direct and arts and entertainments publication The List