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2011

Winners and Nominations

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Best Male Performance

  • WINNER - David Birrell as Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dundee Rep Theatre

  • Alex Ferns as Johnny Byrne, The Hard Man, Scottish Theatres Consortium

  • Peter Forbes as Arnolphe, Educating Agnes, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

  • Ian Smith, My Hands Are Dancing But My Heart Is Cold, Ian Smith/Dance Base

“Played by David Birrell, Sweeney Todd was a figure of unruffled determination: cool, enigmatic and self-contained. Far from being a music-hall villain, he was a controlled obsessive, focused on revenge. He was all the more chilling because he took no pleasure in his victories. And, leading an impressive ensemble, he sang beautifully.”

Best Female Performance

  • Kate Dickie as Jackie, Any Given Day, Traverse Theatre Company

  • Blythe Duff as Helen, Good With People, A Play, a Pie and a Pint/Paines Plough

  • Gemma McElhinney as Duck, The Monster in the Hall, TAG

  • WINNER Mercy Ojelade as Mary, Roadkill, Ankur Productions/Pachamama Productions

 

“It's easy to fake things on stage, but every second of Mercy Ojelade’s performance as Mary, the young Nigerian girl trafficked in Roadkill, Ankur Arts and Pachamama’s harrowing site-specific piece, was utterly, heartbreakingly believable. The transformation from a wide-eyed innocent arriving in a strange land to a brutalised young woman forced to grow up too soon was at times painful to watch, but Ojelade’s fearless and unflinching performance was a captivating experience that audiences will never – and, in light of similar real life situations going on right now, must never – forget.”

Best Ensemble

  • Age of Arousal, Stellar Quines Theatre Company/Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

  • Nothing to See Here, National Theatre of Scotland/Aberdeen City Council

  • The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland

  • WINNER The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, Traverse Theatre Company/Belgrade Theatre, Coventry/English Touring Theatre

“It is no exaggeration to describe this show as the most brilliant piece of Christmas theatre to have been staged in Scotland in a generation, and that is down, in very large part, to the immense talents, and the boisterous, comic energy, of the ensemble. One might have taken particular pleasure in Peter Forbes’s apparently pregnant Porthos or Cliff Burnett’s Aramis – who one still remembers as a ‘cross between Arsene Wenger and Peter Stringfellow’ – but the truth is that this extraordinary production had kids and adults in raptures because every actor in Dominic Hill’s superb ensemble was so wonderfully in tune with both Chris Hannan’s fantastic script and the actors around them.”

Best Director

  • Cora Bissett, Roadkill, Ankur Productions/Pachamama Productions

  • James Brining, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dundee Rep Theatre

  • WINNER Muriel Romanes, Age of Arousal, Stellar Quines Theatre Company/Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

  • Mark Thomson, The Importance of Being Earnest, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

“The diversity of approaches taken by this year’s nominees represents the imagination and dynamism of Scottish theatre, from re-imagining of a classic through to a site-specific examination of a very contemporary problem. Yet our winner, Muriel Romanes, for Age of Arousal by Stellar Quines Theatre Company and the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, demonstrated how the historical can shed light on the modern, and that political seriousness need not mean humourlessness.”

Best Design

  • Janet Bird (set and costumes) and Jeanine Davies (lighting), Age of Arousal, Stellar Quines Theatre Company/Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

  • Candice Edmonds and Jamie Harrison (set), The Not-So-Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo, Vox Motus

  • WINNER Shona Reppe (set and costumes) and Craig Fleming (lighting), White, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company

  • Colin Richmond (set) and Chris Davey (lighting), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dundee Rep Theatre

“Great theatre design does not just illuminate its text, it adds to it. Shona Reppe’s design and costumes for Catherine Wheel’s White went one step further again. She created a white world of such invention that it could have existed on its own. But then you would have missed each intricate new detail as the show developed, the discoveries in each birdbox, the hilarity of using a toilet pedestal mat as an apron. Lighting white can be hell and Craig Flemming’s simple design ensured that the lighting waxed and waned with the passing of the day, Reppe’s birdhouses lit up from the inside and a mirror-ball moon threw slivers of reflected light across the scene.”

Best Music and Sound

  • JOINT WINNER Hilary Brooks, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dundee Rep Theatre

  • Nikola Kodjabashia, The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, Traverse Theatre Company/Belgrade Theatre, Coventry/English Touring Theatre

  • JOINT WINNER Alasdair Macrae, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland

  • Michael John McCarthy, The Not-So-Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo, Vox Motus

“We often end up comparing apples and pears but in the case of the music and sound category this year it was more extreme than ever. How do you separate the challenge that Hilary Brooks had at Dundee, faced with one of the most demanding scores in all musical theatre, to the challenge of writing new music, and combining that with much loved existing music to make something as wittily brilliant and contextually clever as Alsadair Macrae managed for Prudencia Hart. In the end, they were both tremendous achievements and we have decided that the Best Music And Sound category this year should be shared between Hilary Brooks and Ally Macrae.”

Best Technical Presentation

  • The Not-So-Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo, Vox Motus

  • Orlando, Cryptic

  • Roadkill, Ankur Productions/Pachamama Productions

  • WINNER White, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company

“White's technical artistry was not only a marvel to watch but was integral to the overall success of the production. From its  sleight-of-hand tricks to its moving conclusion of seamlessly turning a white set into a massive celebration of colour, White’s technical  execution not only proved that small effects can have a large impact but  that excellence in technical presentation is as important to the success  of a production as any other component.”

Best Production for Children and Young People

  • Beauty and the Beast, Citizens Theatre

  • Caged, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company

  • The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, Traverse Theatre Company/Belgrade Theatre, Coventry/English Touring Theatre

  • WINNER White, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company

“Good theatre is good theatre – whatever age group it’s intended for. White captivated pre-school tots with its ravishing transformation of an all-white world into a rainbow landscape. And if adults read the arrival of colour as a profound reflection on social values – well they too were totally smitten by the magical beauty of this show. How did they do it? It still remains a mystery – but it’s a winner.”

Best New Play

  • David Greig, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland

  • WINNER Chris Hannan, The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, Traverse Theatre Company/Belgrade Theatre, Coventry/English Touring Theatre

  • Cora Bissett and text by Stef Smith, Roadkill, Ankur Productions/Pachamama Productions

  • Molly Taylor, Love Letters to the Public Transport System, National Theatre of Scotland

“Chris Hannan’s version of the famous Alexandre Dumas adventure stories was anarchic, witty, intelligent, rude, irreligious and coarse. It had all the swashbuckling sword fights and knockabout humour you could wish for, but it also told a story of self-discovery that was deeply moving. It was a script that was genuinely for all the family.”

Best Production

  • Age of Arousal, Stellar Quines Theatre Company/Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

  • WINNER Roadkill, Ankur Productions/Pachamama Productions

  • The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland

  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dundee Rep Theatre

“In the end, despite a terrific shortlist, there was no doubt about the outstanding choice as Best Production of 2010–2011. Roadkill, created by Cora Bissett and written by Stef Smith for Ankur Production and Pachamama, is a show that achieves the highest artistic standards in every area, from writing, acting and directing to design, sound and technical co-ordination.  Even more importantly, though, it draws that artistic energy from the company’s passion for its subject, and from their shared determination to make us aware of the scandal and tragedy of people-trafficking in our time – not as some distant problem in faraway places, but as something that is happening now, in the very fabric of our own cities, and perhaps even in the flat next door.”

The CATS judging panel for 2011 was made up of: Mary Brennan (The Herald), Mark Brown (The Sunday Herald and the Daily Telegraph), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Michael Cox (onstagescotland.co.uk), Robert Dawson Scott (The Times), Thom Dibdin (Edinburgh Evening News and The Stage), Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), Gareth K Vile (The Skinny) and Joy Watters (The Courier).

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