Winners of the CATS Whiskers

An occasional award given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to theatre in Scotland that isn’t already reflected in the other awards.


Muriel Romanes, artistic director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company

For outstanding achievement in supporting and strengthening women’s role in Scottish theatre.

The award is in recognition of Muriel’s far-ranging achievements with Stellar Quines Theatre Company, first as a member of the cooperative and then its first artistic director, a post she held until April of this year.
Stellar Quines originally came into being in 1993, with Muriel performing in its first production, Night Sky.·Its aim was to bring the energy, experience and perspective of women centre-stage, but her vision and determination have also been a tremendous force in Scottish theatre-making as a whole. Countless new plays have been staged because of her initiatives at Stellar Quines. Small and not so small venues all across Scotland have seen live theatre – and quality live theatre at that – because Stellar Quines put them on its touring map. In the years that Muriel Romanes has been at the helm, Stellar Quines has withstood financial hardships and shifts in arts policy-making, has stayed vital and aspirational when other small, independent companies have, because of those circumstances, gone under. Her unstinting dedication to theatre-making shines out as an inspiration to us all.


Junction 25 on its tenth anniversary.

For outstanding achievement in pioneering and high-quality work by young people.

“Over the last decade, Junction 25 at the Tramway has won a richly deserved reputation as one of the finest youth theatre companies currently working in Europe, creating theatre that is made to reflect the thoughts, ideas and preoccupations of the 25 young people who form the company at any one time, yet is also shaped by directors Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore into beautiful, world-class performance, often featuring superb light, sound and movement. Through shows like From Where I Am Standing, about teenagers and their parents, and I Hope My Heart Goes First, about life, love and the body, Junction 25 has won friends and audiences not only in Glasgow and across Scotland, but in London, Norway, and now Brazil, where it recently presented workshops based on its show Anoesis, about exam anxiety. Some of the young people involved in the company want to make careers in theatre, others do not; but all of them are passionately involved in creating theatre that gives audiences a chance to hear the voice of a generation – strong, passionate, funny, often unexpected, and always as inventive as it is challenging.”


Imaginate Festival, Scotland’s international festival of performing arts for children and young people

For outstanding achievement in 25 years of excellent programming

Tony Reekie, artistic director of Imaginate

“Over quarter of a century, Imaginate has developed into the most important international performing arts festival for children and young people in the UK. It has brought the finest international work to Scotland and provided Scottish work with the best possible platform. The benefits both to young audiences and Scotland’s children’s theatre practitioners are immeasurable. Not only that, but, under the leadership of its director Tony Reekie, Imaginate has played a crucial role as a commissioner of and advocate for children’s theatre in this country. It is, quite simply, impossible to conceive of the existing children’s theatre sector in Scotland without Imaginate.”·


Vicky Featherstone, founding artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland

For outstanding achievement in Scottish theatre

“Vicky has made an outstanding contribution to Scottish Theatre. Under her guidance the National Theatre of Scotland has grown into an internationally acclaimed institution producing many world-beating shows from global hits Black Watch and The Strange Undoing Of Prudencia Hart to mainstage versions of Peer Gynt and Men Should Weep, and dozens of inspiring smaller-scale projects that have played in theatre and halls across Scotland. We believe that Vicky made an absolutely brilliant job of a historic and immensely complex task, particularly in taking on – ·and making her own – the idea of a national ·theatre ‘without walls. ·It is difficult to imagine any other director who could have led the NTS through its opening years with such a combination of skill, creativity, and real, passionate engagement with Scotland and its stories.”


David MacLennan and A Play, a Pie and a Pint

For outstanding achievement for 250 plays in eight years

David MacLennan picks up an Outstanding Achievement award for 250 new plays in 8 years for A Play, a Pie and a Pint from Alan Cumming. Photograph: Drew Farrell

“Since 2004, David MacLennan and A Play A Pie and A Pint have transformed the Scottish theatre scene with their brilliant invention of a lunchtime theatre format that allows them – in complete freedom, and without direct public subsidy – to present more than 30 new short plays each year, by a dazzling range of writers from Scotland and across the world. They have created a whole new dimension of opportunity, both for young writers starting out, and for established writers keen to try something new; and as the seasons have evolved, they have developed them in memorably creative ways, creating a unique relationship with their audience in Glasgow, building long-term partnerships with theatres and companies across Scotland and Europe, presenting international seasons with the National Theatre of Scotland, and extending their own repertoire to include bite-sized summer classics, and not one but two fierce satirical pantomimes a year – oh yes they have!   It’s been a magnificent and completely unexpected explosion of freewheeling theatrical creativity in Scotland; and long may it continue.”


The critics’ panel honoured Giles Havergal for his immeasurable contribution to theatre in Scotland over the 34 years in which he has been director of the Glasgow Citizens. The critics marked this by sponsoring a seat at the Citizens Theatre, for the theatre’s current fund-raising campaign. Giles Havergal is also an acclaimed actor and played Ebenezer Scrooge in the winning production of Scrooge.