Spotlight on theatre for children and young people as CATS 2014 shortlists unveiled

Press release 8 May 2014

  • Dragon and Huff together receive eight nominations
  • Contribution of Imaginate Festival celebrated in 
  • CATS Whiskers Award
  • Over 30 different companies recognised in the shortlists
  • Ceremony at the Citizens Theatre on Sunday 8 June 2014

If there had ever been any doubts over the calibre of work for children and young people produced in Scotland, the 2014 CATS shortlists released today, Thursday 8 May 2014, would immediately dispel them. Two productions created specifically with a younger audience in mind – Dragon (Vox Motus, National Theatre of Scotland and the Tianjin People’s Art Theatre, China) and Huff  (Shona Reppe and Andy Manley, produced by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company) – have together received eight nominations across six categories including the highest accolade, Best Production. 

It was also announced that a CATS Whiskers, an occasional award that recognises an outstanding contribution to Scottish theatre, would be conferred on the Imaginate Festival which has been producing excellent work for young people for the last 25 years. 

“Engaging young people with theatre is the driving force of Imaginate, and what an amazing job they have been doing over the last 25 years,” says Joyce McMillan, CATS co-convenor.   “They are very worthy recipients of a CATS Whiskers.”

“However, Imaginate is not alone in a commitment to creating vibrant and innovative theatre for young people, as this year’s shortlists demonstrate. Dragon, a truly beautiful and thoughtful treatment of grief and loss, and Huff, which showed how human beings have the power to create a better world, demonstrated how work developed for a younger audience did not shy away from difficult topics and challenging themes, but addressed them head on with sensitivity and wonderful creativity.”

Scottish theatre goes from strength to strength

Over 30 different companies are recognised in the 2014 CATS, illustrating the breadth and depth of quality of productions created in Scotland during the last year. Ranging from the National Theatre of Scotland whose total of CATS nominations has now reached 83 to first time nominees – Datum Point, Grinagog, Iron-Oxide and Birds of Paradise – the 2014 shortlists feature no fewer than 32 different companies and co-producers.

“Scotland continues to be a place where theatrical creativity flourishes,” adds CATS co-convenor Mark Fisher. “The National Theatre of Scotland has once again produced and co-produced acclaimed pieces from Let the Right One In, which has just opened in London’s West End, to Dragon, in which it partnered Vox Motus and Tianjin People’s Art Theatre, China, and The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler, with Vanishing Point, which has just finished a tour of Scotland. 2014 has also seen a flourishing of projects by smaller companies with Datum Point, Grinagog, Iron-Oxide all first time nominees.”

“Shetland” actor Rebecca Benson and last year’s winner, Blythe Duff, on shortlist for Best Female Performance

A strong Best Female Performance shortlist features Rebecca Benson, recently seen in BBC’s Shetland, for her role as Eli in Let the Right One In, which has recently opened in London’s West End; Elicia Daly for her role as Phyllis King in The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler; Adura Onashile in HeLa and last year’s winner, Blythe Duff, for Ciara.

2006 winner Sandy Grierson in frame for Best Male Performance Award

Sandy Grierson, winner of the 2006 Best Male Performance Award, makes the 2014 shortlist for his tremendous skill and affection in the portrayal of Ivor Cutler in The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler alongside former Holby City star Adam Best’s “towering performance” as Raskolnikov; Jimmy Chisholm’s “terrific central performance” in The Collection and Scott Reid “in blistering form” in A Perfect Stroke

Strong showing for Crime and Punishment, The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler and Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner

Five productions have received three or more nominations in this year’s awards.  Dominic Hill’s production of Crime and Punishment leads the pack with six, followed closely by Dragon with five, and Matthew Lenton’s The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler and Stewart Laing’s Paul Bright’s Confessions of a Justified Sinner with four. Orla O’Loughlin’s Ciara and Shona Reppe and Andy Manley’s Huff both received three nominations.

The 2014 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland were open to any professional theatre work produced in Scotland between May 1 2013 and 30 April 2014. 190 new productions that opened in the year were considered for the awards, of which 127 were new plays/scripts and 39 productions created for children and young people.

For full shortlists see Notes for Editors

The 2014 CATS Awards will be presented at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow on the afternoon of Sunday 8 June. Tickets priced £15/£10 (students) from the box office, by telephone on 0141 429 0022 and online at 

For further information the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland visit:


For further CATS information, images and interviews contact:

Lesley Booth, New Century PR, 0779 941 4474


Sunday 8 June 2013 at 3.30pm

The Citizens Theatre

12th annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland

Join with the cream of Scottish theatre for the annual glittering award ceremony followed the opportunity to mingle with the winners.

Tickets priced £15/£10 (students) from the box office, by telephone on 0141 429 0022 and online at 

Notes for Editors

The CATS judging panel for 2014 was made up of: Mary Brennan (The Herald), Anna Burnside (freelance), Irene Brown (, Mark Brown (The Sunday Herald and the Daily Telegraph), Neil Cooper (The Herald), Michael Cox (Across the Arts), Thom Dibdin (The Stage and, Mark Fisher (The Guardian), Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman), 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.