Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh heads the list with 17 nominations

Press release 14 May 2015

  • Untitled Projects follows success of Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner in 2014 with four nominations for Slope
  • Catherine Wheels secures four nominations for The Voice Thief, its 11th nominated show 
  • Tramway-based Junction 25 Awarded CATS’ Whiskers
  • Young Scot and Guitar Guitar join award sponsors
  • 2015 Awards ceremony will be at the Tron Theatre on Sunday 14 June

Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre heads the nominations in the 2015 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland which were announced today, 14 May 2015. The shortlist recognises six different Royal Lyceum productions, which appear in eight of the ten award categories. Meanwhile, Untitled Projects follows the success of Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner in the 2014 CATS with four nominations for Slope, a co-production with KILTR, Citizens Theatre and Traverse Theatre Company. 

The quality of work produced in Scotland by and for children and young people was also highlighted with Glasgow-based Junction 25 being awarded the special CATS’ Whiskers accolade for ten remarkable years of creativity. This is the second year in a row that the special award has been given to an organisation with young people at its heart, following Imaginate Festival last year. Meanwhile, Catherine Wheels’ tally of CATS-nominated shows has reached 11 with its four nods for The Voice Thief  in this year’s shortlists.

“As the Royal Lyceum enters its 50th year, it is particularly apt that the company has attracted such a wealth of nominations for its recent season in which it fired on all cylinders,” says CATS co-convenor Mark Fisher. “What’s also thrilling is the strength and variety of Scottish theatre performances across the board, ranging from lunchtime plays to mainstage classics, from experimental sound-based drama to promenade shows for children. It’s a real privilege for the CATS judges to be able to celebrate such bold and inventive work.”

“This last year has seen another rich and diverse programme of theatre across the country as the span of the nominated productions illustrates,” says Joyce McMillan, CATS co-convenor. “Theatre by and for children and young people continues to grow in quality and quantity with Catherine Wheels this year adding another four nominations to its tally. We are also delighted to present our special CATS’ Whiskers Award to Junction 25. Since it was set up ten years ago by Tashi Gore and Jess Thorpe, with the support of former Tramway producer Steve Slater, it has grown into one of the most critically acclaimed youth theatre companies in the UK. Junction’s work has the young people at the heart of its creative process. The result is a theatre which gives powerful insights into teenage experience, not only for other young people, but for adult audiences, too.”

“As well as a vintage year at the Royal Lyceum, we have seen another wonderful production from Untitled Projects,” she adds. “For over 20 years, director Stewart Laing has been at the forefront of Scottish theatre from early productions such as Happy Days at Tramway through The Salon Project to last year’s Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner. It is sad to think that Slope may well be Untitled Projects’ last production in Scotland. The company’s contribution to our cultural life will be greatly missed.”

The six Royal Lyceum Theatre productions recognised in the 2015 CATS are Bondagers, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Faith Healer, Hedda Gabler, Kill Johnny Glendenning and The Venetian Twins, with three of them being shortlisted for the Best Production Award. Commenting on the success of the theatre’s productions, Artistic Director Mark Thomson said:

“The company and I are thrilled that so many of our productions have been celebrated by the CATS Awards this year and in my penultimate season here at the Lyceum. It’s a wonderfully rewarding finale to a year where everyone who works here, the artists and staff have journeyed with creativity and hard work on some amazing pieces so that the people of Edinburgh and beyond can have great nights out at the theatre.”

Elsewhere, actor Amy Manson picked up her third CATS nomination (Grusha: The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh) and there were second nominations for Brian Ferguson (Hamlet:  Hamlet, Citizens Theatre), Keith Fleming, (Buck: The Call of the Wild, A Play, a Pie and a Pint), Grant O’Rourke (Zanetto and Tonino:  The Venetian Twins, Royal Lyceum Theatre) and Meg Fraser (Susan: Woman in Mind, Dundee Rep).

78 new plays were produced in the year from May 2014–April 2015 with Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre and Glasgow’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint continuing to commission and provide a vital platform for new work. The organisations jointly picked up two nominations in the best new play category in 2015, recognising the continuing contribution of the late David McLennan’s ground-breaking initiative to Scottish theatre.

For full list of nominations for the 2015 CATS go here.

It was also announced today that Young Scot had come on board as a sponsor of the Best Production for Children and Young People Award and Guitar Guitar as sponsors of the Best Music and Sound Award, joining STV (Best Female Performance), Equity (Best Ensemble) and Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach – Theatre Insurance Brokers (Best New Play). The awards are also supported by BBC Scotland Radio Drama, the Mackintosh Foundation and The List.

“We are delighted that Young Scot and Guitar Guitar have come on board this year as award sponsors and are grateful for the continuing support of all our event and category sponsors,” say Joyce McMillan and Mark Fisher. “Their contribution enables us to stage our annual celebration of Scottish theatre and the vital contribution that it makes to the cultural life of our nation.” 

The CATS Award ceremony returns to Glasgow’s Tron Theatre this year. It will be held 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 

Posted in CATS press releases, CATS shortlists.