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Unveiling the 2024 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland Nominations

 

Shortlists for 2024 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland announced - Love Letter to the Big Yin from the People of Scotland among shows in line for prestigious awards.


  • Tortoise in a Nutshell receives highest number of nominations – seven across two productions

  • Royal Lyceum shortlisted for three different productions

  • Previous Best Performance winners Blythe Duff and Nicole Cooper make the shortlists again

  • 139 eligible shows staged across Scotland between May 2023 and April 2024 including over 100 new plays

  • Awards will be presented at The Theatre Royal, Glasgow on Sunday 16 June

 


Dear Billy, a National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) production written by and starring Gary McNair is among the most nominated productions in the prestigious CATS Awards, the shortlists for which have been released today. “A joyous piece of theatre celebrating the Big Yin and what he means to us,” the production is nominated in four categories: Best Performer (Gary McNair), Best New Play (Gary McNair), Best Director (Joe Douglas) and Best Production.

 

Tortoise in A Nutshell – which is celebrated for its blend of puppetry and performance – garnered the highest number of nominations. Ragnarok, which takes its title from the Nordic myth of the end-of-times, receives four nominations: Best Music and Sound, Best Technical Presentation, Best Design and Best Production; and Ginger receives three nominations: Best Technical Presentation, Best Design and Best Production for Children and Young People.

 

Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre has scooped six nominations across three productions: The Girls of Slender Means is shortlisted for Best Ensemble, Best New Play and Best Production; Anna Karenina receives a nomination for Best Design and its co-production with Dundee Rep, Sunset Song, is shortlisted for Best Ensemble and Best Music and Sound.

 

Also nominated in four categories is the Tron Theatre Company’s production of Caryl Churchill’s play Escaped Alone - for which acclaimed stage and screen actress Blythe Duff has been nominated for a Best Performance award, with the production also shortlisted for Best Director (Joanna Bowman), Best Ensemble and Best Production.

 

Escaped Alone - Best Production Nomination

Shortlisted alongside Blythe Duff and Gary McNair in the Best Performance category this year are: Darren Brownlie (Meet Me at the Knob), Nicole Cooper (Lear’s Fool), Paul McCole (The Sheriff of Kalamaki), Gill Robertson (Lightning Ridge), Alan Steele (Henry IV parts I and II) and Kirsty Stuart (A Street Car named Desire).

 

Meanwhile, five productions have been shortlisted for the supreme award of Best Production: They are: Dear Billy (NTS), Escaped Alone (Tron Theatre Company), The Girls of Slender Means (Royal Lyceum), Lightning Ridge (Catherine Wheels) and Ragnarok (a Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with (MacRobert Arts Centre).

 

“Like everyone else in Scottish theatre, the critics are intensely aware of the funding pressures Scotland’s theatre-makers are facing”, says CATS co-convenor Mark Brown. “We are, therefore, full of admiration for the quality and diversity of the work that is being produced.”

 

“It is a testament to the passion and determination of our theatre-makers that they continue to make work of such a high calibre when funding is so precarious. The former First Minister committed to doubling arts funding over the next five years. This support cannot come soon enough.”

 

“We’re delighted to announce a shortlist that celebrates such a wide range of Scottish theatre, from the smallest scale to the most epic and spectacular,” adds CATS co-convenor Joyce McMillan. “This year there were an astonishing 139 new pieces of theatre produced in Scotland ranging from works by long-established companies such as the Tron Theatre, Dundee Rep, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Royal Lyceum, to more recently established groups like Sleeping Warrior and Tortoise in a Nutshell, the latter of which picks up no fewer than seven nominations across two productions; and the judging panel would like to congratulate every professional theatre company in Scotland, on every scale, for the tremendous efforts they make to remain creative, productive and inventive, in what are exceptionally tough times.”


Lightning Ridge - Best Production Nomination

“We had 139 eligible productions this year—more than two-thirds of which was new work,” says CATS co-convenor, Michael Cox. “It’s always challenging selecting just four for our Best New Play category, especially when you consider how good much of the work was. But we have a great shortlist, and it is particularly exciting that two of those shortlisted are nominated for the first time.”

 

The 2024 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland are generously supported by:

STV Studios (Outstanding Performance awards), Equity (Best Ensemble), BECTU (Best Technical Presentation), Nick Hern Books (Best New Play), BB Hair Collective (Best Design), Gilded Ballon (Best Production for Children and Young People) and also by BBC Scotland Radio Drama. With special thanks to the Ambassador Theatre Group for hosting the event at the Theatre Royal Glasgow. It will be held on the afternoon of Sunday 16 June.

 

“We are excited to be hosting this year’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland at Theatre Royal, Glasgow for the first time,” says Theatre Director, James Haworth,  “As the city’s oldest theatre, the venue has played a leading role in Scotland’s cultural life, presenting homegrown talent as well as showcasing famed international productions. We look forward to welcoming Scotland’s theatre critics, bringing them together with nominees and guests to celebrate the Scottish theatre sector and the brilliant people behind the terrific work staged across the country this year.”

 

 

FULL SHORTLISTS FOR THE 2024 CRITICS' AWARDS FOR THEATRE IN SCOTLAND

 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE

(sponsored by STV Studios)


  • Darren Brownlie Meet Me At The Knob - A Play, A Pie and A Pint

  • Nicole Cooper Lear’s Fool - Bard in the Botanics

  • Blythe Duff (Mrs Jarrett) Escaped Alone - Tron Theatre Company

  • Paul McCole (Dion) The Sheriff of Kalamaki - A Play, A Pie and A Pint 

  • Gary McNair (Various) Dear Billy - National Theatre of Scotland

  • Gill Robertson (Various) Lightning Ridge - Catherine Wheels

  • Alan Steele (Falstaff) Henry IV Parts I & II - Bard in the Botanics

  • Kirsty Stuart (Blanche) A Streetcar Named Desire - Pitlochry Festival Theatre

 

BEST ENSEMBLE

(sponsored by Equity)


  • Escaped Alone - Tron Theatre Company

  • Same Team: A Street Soccer Story - Traverse Theatre

  • Sunset Song - Dundee Rep and Royal Lyceum

  • The Girls Of Slender Means - Royal Lyceum

 

BEST DIRECTOR


  • Joanna Bowman Escaped Alone - Tron Theatre Company

  • Joe Douglas Dear Billy - National Theatre of Scotland

  • Elizabeth Newman - A Streetcar Named Desire Pitlochry Festival Theatre

  • Bryony Shanahan - Same Team: A Street Soccer Story - Traverse Theatre

 

BEST DESIGN

(sponsored by BB Hair Collective)


  • Emma Bailey (Set & Costume Design) and Mark Henderson (Lighting Design) Anna Karenina - Royal Lyceum

  • Katy Rae Wilson (Set Design) and Michaella Fee (Lighting Design) Ginger - Tortoise In A Nutshell in association with Platform and Lyth Arts Centre.

  • Alisa Kalyanova (Set and Costume), Simon Wilkinson (Lighting), Ellie Thompson (Video & Projection Design) and Mark Melville (Sound Design) Love the Sinner - Vanishing Point and Imogen Stirling

  • Arran Howie (Designer) and Simon Wilkinson (Lighting & Video Designer) Ragnarok - Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre

 

BEST MUSIC AND SOUND


  • Battery Park - Andy McGregor (music and lyrics), Fraser Milroy (sound design) and Isla Cowan (lyrics) Sleeping Warrior, co-production with Beacon Arts Centre

  • Club Life - Fred Deakin, Davie Miller and Sita Pieraccini

  • Ragnarok - Jim Harbourne (composer and sound designer) Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre

  • Sunset Song - Dundee Rep and Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

 

BEST TECHNICAL PRESENTATION

(sponsored by BECTU)


  • Ginger - Tortoise In A Nutshell in association with Platform and Lyth Arts Centre

  • Ghosthunter - Visible Fictions

  • Love the Sinner - Vanishing Point and Imogen Stirling

  • Ragnarok - Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre

 

BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

(sponsored by Gilded Balloon)


  • Ginger - Tortoise In A Nutshell in association with Platform and Lyth Arts Centre

  • Ghosthunter - Visible Fictions

  • Lightning Ridge - Catherine Wheels

  • Unicorn Christmas Party - Raw Material and Capital Theatres – commissioned by Capital Theatres, Aberdeen Performing Arts, and Eden Court Highlands

 

BEST NEW PLAY

(sponsored by Nick Hern Books)


  • Douglas Maxwell - The Sheriff of Kalamaki

  • Gary McNair - Dear Billy

  • Gabriel Quigley - The Girls of Slender Means

  • Imogen Stirling - Love the Sinner

 

BEST PRODUCTION


  • Dear Billy - National Theatre of Scotland

  • Escaped Alone - Tron Theatre Company

  • Lightning Ridge - Catherine Wheels

  • Ragnarok - Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre

  • The Girls Of Slender Means - Royal Lyceum

 

Ragnarok - Best Production Nomination

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