It was the ninth CATS Awards held at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh yesterday and the event had a real sense of achievement about it. Presented by Joyce McMillan and Clare Grogan we were treated to excellent potted reviews of each of the four shortlisted candidates in 10 categories of Scottish theatre by the great and the good of the Scottish Critics.
I got a real sense of us being in a “golden age” of theatre. So many great shows, my only regret was that I had not seen them all. In particular I wish I had seen White by Catherine Wheels (which won three times), The Three Musketeers and The Princess of Spain (at the Traverse) which sounded simply hilarious and the overall winner (which I tried to see); Roadkill again at The Traverse.
When you stand back and look at the real influence at work here the Traverse really does stand tall in it all, notwithstanding the fact that my own declared interest (The Lyceum ) has had a season to die for and another on the way and the incredible success of Dundee Rep’s Sweeney, many of the nominees were touched by the Trav, performed there or their writers had made their way through its hallowed doorway.
I know too that not everyone always loves the National Theatre of Scotland but with three different productions shortlisted here (not to mention Knives in Hens which is currently playing at, yes, The Trav and Dunsinane (the Lyceum) which was not eligible, its influence is there to be seen.
Highlight of the day? Mary Brennan’s (slightly long but wholly hilarious) “performance” as she extolled the virtue of Scotland’s performance in the Children and Young People category which was won by White.
It’s a very great pity that although Roadkill is back for the Fringe again that hardly anyone can see it; indeed it’s already sold out.
The party afterwards, both in the Festival Theatre, but especially in Brass Monkey (A great wee boozer in Drummond Street) was fantastic.
It was so luvvieish that the lack of Dickie Attenburgh’s presence was about the only thing short of perfection.