Cream of Edinburgh’s theatrical talent top CATS nominations

May 14, 2010 | By | Reply More

By Thom Dibdin

Brian Ferguson and Nicola Jo Cully in the Traverse’ multi-nominated The Dark Things Photo credit: Richard Campbell

Edinburgh’s theatres and production companies have made a strong showing in the shortlist for this year’s Critics Awards for the Theatre in Scotland, picking up 15 of the 40 possible nominations, in 8 of the 10 categories.

Leading the field is the Traverse, with six nominations for last Autumn’s The Dark Things, three for the recent The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, and a single nomination for Orphans, the co-production with Birmingham Rep, in association with Paines Plough at last year’s Fringe.

The Royal Lyceum has to make do with only two nominations, for The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Beggar’s Opera. Huxley’s Lab, the co-production between Lung Ha’s and Grid Iron, Pobby and Dingan by Catherine Wheels and Testament of Cresseid from the Edinburgh International Festival all receive a nomination each.

In the different acting categories, there are two Edinburgh productions nominated for best actor. Brian Ferguson is recognised for his role in The Dark Things, while Jimmy Yuill is nominated for his performance in Testament of Cresseid.

Cara Kelly in The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Lyceum

Cara Kelly is nominated for her performance as Maureen Folan in Beauty Queen in the best actress category. This category is the first of three in which Dark Things and The Goat go head-to-head – Suzanne Donaldson is nominated for her performance as LJ in the former and Sian Thomas for her performance as Stevie in the latter.

In the ensemble category, Edinburgh-based company Lung Ha’s makes it onto the shortlist for the first time, where it joins CATS favourites Grid Iron. They are jointly nominated for their co-production of Huxley’s Lab at the Science Festival.

In the best Design category, the Lyceum is up against the Traverse. Kai Fischer’s set and lighting with Finn Ross’ projection and video design are recognised for The Beggar’s Opera. Neil Warmington’s set and Lizzie Powell’s lighting are recognised for The Dark Things.

There are three Edinburgh-based nominations in the specialist categories. Catherine Wheels, another favourite with Scotland’s theatre critics, are nominated for their adaptation of the Australian children’s story Pobby and Dingan in the Best production for Children and Young People category.

In the best new play category, Ursula Rani Sarma is nominated for The Dark Things. She is up against Dennis Kelly for his play Orphans, another Traverse production, this time a co-production with Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Paines Plough.

The Dark Things and The Goat meet again in the final two awards, for best director and best overall production. The Traverse’s artistic director Dominic Hill is also nominated twice, as director of both plays.

“We’re over the moon to be nominated for 10 CATS for our productions this year,” Dominic Hill commented on hearing the news. “It’s an honour to have our work recognised by Scotland’s critics – and testament to the first rate work of the fantastic writers, actors and theatre artists we’ve worked with over the past twelve months. I am delighted to have been nominated for two awards as director.”

Co-convenor of the CATS, Mark Fisher, added: “It has been a bumper year for great theatre in Scotland and we were spoilt for choice when it came to making our selections. The 2010 shortlist represents a truly impressive range of talent, whether it is the most intimate one-person show like Suzie Ferguson in Sick by Theatre Modo or, as is the case with Huxley’s Lab, a production with a cast of 30.”

Now in its eighth year, the CATS has become a highlight of the theatrical calendar in Scotland, celebrating the actors, directors, playwrights and other artists who have made the most thrilling contributions to the industry over the past 12 months. This year the ceremony will be held for a second time at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh on Sunday 13 June at 3pm.

The event is open to members of the public and offers a unique opportunity for audiences to come together with the cream of the Scottish theatre community and celebrate the contribution that work produced in Scotland makes to the cultural life of the country.

Tickets cost £15 (including live entertainment, entry to the awards ceremony, drinks and light refreshments) and can be purchased through the Festival Theatre box office and online here. Further information is available on the CATS website.

The Huxley’s Lab ensemble. Photo credit: Douglas Jones

The nominations in full:

BEST ACTOR (MALE), sponsored by Guy Robertson Partnership:
John Bett as the Governor, The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre
Brian Ferguson as Daniel, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
Kevin Lennon as John Merrick, The Elephant Man, Dundee Rep
Jimmy Yuill, Testament of Cresseid, Edinburgh International Festival

BEST ACTOR (FEMALE):
Suzanne Donaldson as LJ, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
Suzie Ferguson, Sick, Theatre Modo
Cara Kelly as Maureen Folan, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Royal Lyceum
Sian Thomas as Stevie, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Traverse Theatre

BEST ENSEMBLE:
A Christmas Carol, Dundee Rep
The Darktown Cakewalk: Celebrated from the House of FAME, Sorcha Dallas, The Work Room, Tramway, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art
The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre
Huxley’s Lab, Grid Iron/Lung Ha’s

BEST DIRECTOR:
Ken Alexander, Whisky Galore, Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Dominic Hill, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
Dominic Hill, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Traverse Theatre
Jemima Levick, The Elephant Man, Dundee Rep

BEST DESIGN:
Kai Fischer (set and lighting) and Finn Ross (projection and video design), The Beggar’s Opera, Royal Lyceum, Vanishing Point and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in association with Tramway
Alex Lowde (set) and Colin Grenfell (lighting), The Elephant Man, Dundee Rep
Jason Southgate (set) and Graham Sutherland (lighting), Cinderella, Citizens Theatre
Neil Warmington (set) and Lizzie Powell (lighting), The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre

BEST USE OF MUSIC AND SOUND:
Jon Beales, Shona McKee McNeil, Ian Hammond Brown and the company, Whisky Galore, Pitlochry Festival Theatre
David Paul Jones, The Songbird, Giant
Alasdair Macrae, The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre
Stuart McCallum, The Darktown Cakewalk: Celebrated from the House of FAME, Sorcha Dallas, The Work Room, Tramway, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art

BEST TECHNICAL PRESENTATION, sponsored by Northern Light:
Bright Black, Vox Motus (in association with Platform and supported by Cumbernauld Theatre and Fife Arts Trust)
A Christmas Carol, Dundee Rep
Jane Eyre, Perth Theatre
Mr Write, National Theatre of Scotland

BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE:
Cinderella, Citizens Theatre
Mr Write, National Theatre of Scotland
Pobby and Dingan, Catherine Wheels
The Songbird, Giant

BEST NEW PLAY, sponsored by W&P Longreach:
Alan Bissett, Turbo Folk, A Play, a Pie and a Pint
Kieran Hurley, Hitch (Full Version), The Arches
Dennis Kelly, Orphans, Traverse Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Paines Plough
Ursula Rani Sarma, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre

BEST PRODUCTION:
A Christmas Carol, Dundee Rep
The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Traverse Theatre
The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre

ENDS

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