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

Press release 12 June 2016

Daniela Nardini and Sanjeev Kohli

“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.

Waiting for Godot

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.

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