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
in.

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

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…