Critics celebrate Romanes

Jun 3 2016 | By More

Special CATS Whiskers award for ex Stellar Quines AD

The Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland will recognise recently departed Stellar Quines artistic director Muriel Romanes for her role as a “tremendous force” in promoting the work of women in Scottish Theatre.

Romanes will get a special CATS Whiskers award at the CATS ceremony on June 12 at the Lyceum. This discretionary award is additional to the ten standard categories and recognises particularly outstanding contributions to Scottish Theatre.

Muriel Romanes at Stellar Quines 21st birthday party. Photo: Eoin Carey

Muriel Romanes at Stellar Quines 21st birthday party. Photo: Eoin Carey

The Edinburgh-based Stellar Quines was established in 1993 by a group of artists led by Gerda Stevenson to bring the energy, experience and perspective of women centre-stage.

Romanes joined the company as a co-operative member in 1994, acting in the first production, Night Sky. She, Stevenson and Irene Macdougall become joint artistic directors, and Romanes became sole artistic around 2000 until April this year.

Speaking of Stellar Quines’ aim to bring the “energy, experience and perspective” of women centre-stage, CATS co-convenor, Joyce McMillan said: “Muriel’s 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. Also, small and not so small venues across Scotland have seen live theatre – and quality live theatre at that – because Stellar Quines put them on its touring map.”

Jemima Levick, who took over from Romanes at the helm of Stellar Quines in April, expressed her delight that Romanes is to be honoured with the 2016 CATS Whiskers Award.

unstinting belief

Levick said: “Muriel’s tenacity and unstinting belief in the power and importance of theatre, particularly in raising the profile of women both onstage and off has been unwavering over the years.

“She has touched the lives of many and has pushed us all to be our very best. I personally benefited from this in the early stages of my career, for which I shall always be grateful. I have no doubt that I and many others will look forward to taking the opportunity at this years ceremony to thank her for all she has done.”

Arts consultant Morag Ballantyne expressed her delight that Romanes has led the company to such success. Ballantyne, with her husband Iain Carmichael, was asked by Gerda Stevenson to join her and Lynn Bains in setting up Stellar Quines.

Ballantyne told Æ: ” Many congratulations to Muriel for leading the Quines and for some great work. Iain Carmichael and I are very proud!

The first CATS Whiskers was awarded in 2012 in recognition of an outstanding contribution to Scottish theatre.

Previous recipients include David MacLennan as the founder of A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Vicky Featherstone for her work as the inaugural artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland and the Imaginate Festival for its role in promoting theatre for children in Scotland.


The Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street EH3 9AX
Sunday 12 June 2016
From 4pm – 90 minute event followed by after-awards party.
Tickets £15 (£10 for students) from


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  1. Joanna Tope says:

    Richly deserved.
    Thank you CATS Whiskers