The nominations for the 2019 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland have been announced, and it has been an incredible year.
Sweeping up 11 nominations across four different productions, the Traverse Theatre has made a considerable mark on the community this year with uproarious Ulster American, engrossing Mouthpiece, rousing What Girls Are Made Of, and poignant The Mack.
Equally of note, Glasgow-based, disability-led theatre company Birds of Paradise has pulled a phoenix-rising-number with My Left Right Foot - The Musical, pulling in nominations in no less than six categories following the controversial withdrawal of its three-year funding by Creative Scotland. The categories for which it is nominated include Best Ensemble, Best Director (Robert Softley Gale), and Best Production.
“Theatre should be inclusive, and this great show demonstrates how Birds of Paradise have become a vital part of Scotland’s theatre scene over the last 25 years...Not only did Robert Softley Gale’s take on the controversial Oscar-winning film My Left Foot stand up for disabled people’s right to be heard, but it did it in a brilliantly humorous and theatrical way, in one of the finest productions of the year."
Nominations for Best Male Performance include Darrell D’Silva, for his portrayal of Jay Conway in Ulster American (The Traverse Theatre Company), and Outlander actor Grant O’Rourke for Two in Ballyturk (Tron Theatre Company).
Cora Bissett (What Girls Are Made Of - Traverse Theatre Company) has been shortlisted for Best Female Performance, alongside Irene Macdougall (All My Sons, Dundee Rep Ensemble), 2019 CATS winner Jessica Hardwick (Cyrano de Bergac) and Lucianne McEvoy for her Ruth Davenport in Ulster American (Traverse Theatre Company).
Best Design notes four of this year’s stirring productions: Baba Yaga (Imaginate and Windmill Theatre Company), The Dark Carnival (Vanishing Point, in co-production with the Citizens Theatre, in association with Dundee Rep Ensemble), Ballyturk (Tron Theatre Company) and Lost at Sea (Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts and Morna Young)
Over 80 new plays were eligible for the 2019 CATS, showcasing that Scotland still well and truly is a centre of excellence in new and evocative writing, with collaboration being a cornerstone of the community across companies both Scottish and international.
“In these divisive times, it’s heartening to see theatre companies reaching beyond Scotland to make cultural connections with the rest of the world,” says Mark Fisher, co-convenor of the CATS, “Let’s hope such artistic cross-pollination continues to enrich theatre at home and abroad.”
For the shortlist of nominations in full, visit: https://criticsawards.theatrescotland.com/2019-shortlist/
This year’s CATS will be presented at Tramway in Glasgow on Sunday, June 9.
Tickets priced £16.50 (£11 for Young Scot card holders). Transaction free of £1.50 for online and £1.75 for telephone bookings. Book in person at. 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow G41, by telephone on 0845 330 3501 and online via https://tickets.glasgowconcerthalls.com/
Photograph by Christopher Bowen