Edinburgh companies up for the CATS

May 16 2024 | By | Reply More

Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland shortlist announced

Edinburgh-based companies and venues have been nominated in every category of this year’s CATS, the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland. A total of 10 productions from six different producers have secured a total of 20 nominations between them.

Tortoise in a Nutshell, the Edinburgh-based visual theatre company which specialises in blending puppetry with performance, has a total of seven nominations for two of its productions. The dystopian Ragnarok, first seen at Manipulate has four, with young audience favourite Ginger receiving three nods.

Tortoise in a Nutshell’s Ragnarok. Pic: Mihaela Bodlovic

Both shows are nominated for both Best Technical and Best Design awards, with Ragnarok also up for Best Music and Sound and Best Production. Ginger’s third nomination is for Best Production for Children and Young People.

The Lyceum has a total of six nominations across three productions. Sunset Song and The Girls of Slender Means are both nominated in the Best Ensemble category. The latter is also up for Best Production with Gabriel Quigley’s script nominated for Best New Play. Sunset Song is also nominated for best Music and Sound. Designer Emma Bailey is nominated for her work on the company’s Anna Karenina.

Lighting Ridge

Catherine Wheels, the children’s theatre specialist company has three nominations for Lightning Ridge. Performer Gill Robertson is nominated in the Outstanding Performance category and the production is also nominated for Best Show for Young People and for Best Production.

The Traverse is recognised twice for its production of Same Team: A Street Soccer Story, which is nominated for Best Ensemble with Bryony Shanahan also nominated for Best Direction.

Further nominations got to independent producers Fred Deakin and Davie Miller for Club Life (Best Music and Sound) and Raw Material for Unicorn Christmas Party (Best Production for Children and Young People).

Anna Karenina at the Lyceum with Lindsey Campbell as Anna Karenina and Robert Akodoto as Vronsky. Pic: Robbie McFadzean

Elsewhere, Dear Billy, the NTS production written by and starring Gary McNair is among the most nominated productions. “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.

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.

quality and diversity

“Like everyone else in Scottish theatre, the critics are intensely aware of the funding pressures Scotland’s theatre-makers are facing”, said CATS co-convenor Mark Brown announcing the short lists. “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.”

The critics considered 139 works created in Scotland in 2023-4 which were eligible for the 2024 CATS of which 103 were new plays. 50 productions from 23 different producers made the long lists for the awards with the shortlists including 19 different productions.

There are nine categories in total, with four nominees for one winner in eight of those, The Outstanding Performance category has eight nominees for two winners.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Glasgow Theatre Royal on Sunday 16 June 2024. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale on May 24.

CATS 2024 – the shortlist in full

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE (sponsored by STV Studios)
Darren Brownlie (William ‘Lovely Liz’ Haton) Meet Me At The Knob – A Play, A Pie and A Pint
Nicole Cooper (The Fool) Lear’s Fool – Bard in the Botanics
Blythe Duff (Mrs Jarrett) Escaped Alone – Tron Theatre Company (Æ review here).
Paul McCole (Dion) The Sheriff of Kalamaki – A Play, A Pie and A Pint. (Æ review here).
Gary McNair (Various) Dear Billy – National Theatre of Scotland (Æ review here).
Gill Robertson (Various) Lightning Ridge – Catherine Wheels (Æ review here).
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 (Æ review here).
Same Team: A Street Soccer Story – Traverse Theatre (Æ review here).
Sunset Song – Dundee Rep Theatre in co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh
The Girls Of Slender Means – Royal Lyceum Theatre. (Æ review here).

BEST DIRECTOR
Joanna Bowman Escaped Alone – Tron Theatre Company (Æ review here).
Joe Douglas Dear Billy – National Theatre of Scotland (Æ review here).
Elizabeth NewmanA Streetcar Named Desire Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Bryony ShanahanSame Team – A Street Soccer Story; Traverse Theatre (Æ review here).

BEST DESIGN (sponsored by BB Hair Collective)
Anna Karenina – Royal Lyceum. Emma Bailey (Æ review here).
Ginger – Tortoise In A Nutshell in association with Platform and Lyth Arts Centre. Katy Rae Wilson (Set Design) and Michaella Fee (Lighting Design)
Love the Sinner – Vanishing Point and Imogen Stirling – Alisa Kalyanova (Set and Costume); Simon Wilkinson (Lighting); Ellie Thompson (Video & Projection Design) and Mark Melville (Sound Design) (Æ review here).
Ragnarok – Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre: Arran Howie (Designer), Simon Wilkinson (Lighting & Video Designer) (Æ review here).

Ginger from Tortoise in a Nutshell

BEST MUSIC AND SOUND
Battery Park – Sleeping Warrior (Æ review here).
Club Life – Fred Deakin and Davie Miller
Ragnarok – Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre. Jim Harbourne Sound Designer and Performer. (Æ review here).
Sunset Song – Dundee Rep Theatre in co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh. Music by Finn Anderson, Sound Design by Ritchie Young.

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 (Æ review here).
Ragnarok – Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre. (Æ review here).

BEST NEW PLAY (sponsored by Nick Hern Books)
Douglas MaxwellThe Sheriff of Kalamaki. (Æ review here).
Gary McNairDear Billy (Æ review here).
Gabriel QuigleyThe Girls of Slender Means (Æ review here).
Imogen Stirling Love the Sinner (Æ review here).

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 (Æ review here).
Unicorn Christmas Party – Raw Material (Æ review here).

BEST PRODUCTION
Dear Billy
– National Theatre of Scotland (Æ review here).
Escaped Alone – Tron Theatre Company (Æ review here).
Lightning Ridge – Catherine Wheels (Æ review here).
Ragnarok – Tortoise in a Nutshell co-production with Figurteatret i Nordland and in association with MacRobert Arts Centre (Æ review here).
The Girls Of Slender Means – Royal Lyceum (Æ review here).

Further details on the CATS website: https://criticsawards.theatrescotland.com

Gill Robertson in Lightning Ridge from Catherine Wheels. Pic: Brian Hartley

ENDS

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  1. Suzanne Senior says:

    I really loved ‘The Gitls of Slender Means’. Have just finished the book and thought the play was much better!

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