Skip to main content

CATS Awards 2011 Overview - Scottish Theatre Is In Rude Health

“If you believe a story’s worth telling, you’ll believe in it to the
death.” So said Cora Bissett, director of Roadkill, an astonishing look
at sex trafficking close to home and winner of the year’s Best
production award at yesterday’s Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland.
If ever there was a sentiment that summed up the creative whirlwind of
just how much theatre in Scotland is punching well above its weight,
Bissett captures it perfectly. This is especially the case in the
current economic climate, with cuts in arts funding as inevitable this
side of the border as they were recently in England.

Bissett accidentally captured the gung ho, never say die approach that
makes artists create work in the face of adversity, and the CATS awards
rightly celebrates this. Apart from anything else, it also shows off
the full diverse range of the work made in Scotland that is a world
apart from the London awards scene centred mainly around commercial
west end shows.

As well as Roadkill, all of the nominees, as anyone who witnessed them
will confirm, are world class at any level. As are too the myriad of
nominees with productions great and small who made judging the awards
for myself and my colleagues a tortuous and at times nigh on impossible
process. One of the big breakthroughs this year was to see children’s
show White, produced by the CatherineWheels company, not just win in
the Children’s and Young People’s category, but to scoop both Best
Design and Best Technical Presentation gongs as well. This shows how
seriously the work for children and young people is taken in this
country, and how much it can stand alongside its more grown-up peers,
both here and on the European scene the sector is now a leading player

One thing brought home by the CATS, itself now an important part of
Scotland’s theatrical calendar, is just what a plethora of magnificent
artists there is here. The survival of them and their work needs to be
fought for, on these pages and elsewhere. To the death if necessary.

The Herald, June 13th 2011



Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…