Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland

The Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) are an annual event[1] awarding performances "substantially produced in Scotland, or developed, rehearsed and premiered in Scotland".

Awards ceremony

The ceremony is itinerant in terms of location, switching between theatre venues in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere – for example, in 2007 the ceremony was hosted by Pitlochry Festival Theatre, while in 2019 the event was held at Tramway (arts centre) [2] in Glasgow.

The Awards Ceremony, which takes place on the second Sunday in June, is open to the general public, not just members of Scotland's theatre industry.


The judges are invited critics[3] who write regularly on theatre across Scotland, for print and/or online publications.

Award categories

The first CATS, in June 2003 (covering productions between May 2002 to April 2003) announced five awards: Best Production; Best Male Performance; Best Female Performance; Best Design; and Best New Play. Five additional categories were quickly added: Best Director; Best Technical Presentation; Best Production for Children and Young People; Best Ensemble; and Best Music and Sound.

There is also the special "CATS Whiskers", which is awarded to individuals or organisations whom the judges believe have made a significant contribution to theatre in Scotland. The most recent recipient of this award – which is granted only occasionally – was Muriel Romanes in 2016,[4] for "supporting and strengthening women's role in Scottish theatre", most notably as the first artistic director[5] of Stellar Quines Theatre Company.

Awards for 2018-2019

The 17th CATS for 2018-2019 were announced at a ceremony hosted at Tramway (arts centre), on Sunday 9 June. The guest presenter was former Citizens Theatre Artistic Director Giles Havergal.

Best New Play: David Ireland for Ulster American[6], Traverse Theatre Company

Best Production: Ulster American[7], Traverse Theatre Company

Best Female Performance: Lucianne McEvoy (Ruth Davenport), Ulster American, Traverse Theatre Company

Best Male Performance: John Michie (Fireman), The Mack, A Play, a Pie and a Pint. [8]

Best Ensemble: Lost at Sea[9], Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts and Morna Young

Best Director: Ian Brown[10], Lost at Sea[11], Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts and Morna Young

Best Design: Shona Reppe (design concept), Ailsa Paterson (design realiser), Selene Cochrane (costume designer and maker) and Chris Edser (animator), for Baba Yaga, Imaginate and Windmill Theatre Company

Best Music and Sound: Claire McKenzie (music and lyrics), Scott Gilmour (music and lyrics) and Richard Thomas (additional songs), My Left Right Foot – The Musical[12], Birds of Paradise and National Theatre of Scotland

Best Technical Presentation: The End of Eddy, Untitled Projects and the Unicorn Theatre

Best Production for Children and Young People: Stick by Me, by Andy Manley and Ian Cameron, produced by Red Bridge Arts[13].


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