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:

For further information, images and interviews contact:

Lesley Booth, 0779 941 4474

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 (, 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,·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).

Posted in CATS press releases, CATS shortlists.