Black Watch heads up Scots critics’ shortlist

Black Watch – Gregory Burke’s verbatim theatre account of the regiment’s recent tours to Iraq, directed by John Tiffany for the National Theatre of Scotland – leads this year’s Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, with nominations in six of the ten different categories.

The play also picked up nominations for technical presentation, use of music, best ensemble and best production.

Meanwhile, a revival of Man of La Mancha, directed by Martin Duncan for Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum, received five nominations. Unusually, musical director Robert Pettigrew, rather than composer Mitch Leigh, is nominated in the Best Use of Music category. Technical presentation is recognised, as is Duncan’s direction, along with a nomination for the ensemble plus one for Francis O’Connor and Chris Ellis’ designs.

Expressing his delight at the nominations, the Lyceum’s artistic director Mark Thomson told The Stage that he is particularly pleased as it is the theatre’s first musical production in six years.

He added: “It is encouraging to see that the hard work and enthusiasm of everyone involved throughout the season has been recognised.”

While the NTS picks up a further three nominations, and the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre was nominated in four categories for Tom Fool, the shortlist is by no means confined to Scotland’s big theatrical guns, according to CATS convenor Robert Dawson Scott.

He said: “Scotland’s major theatrical organisations are producing consistently good work, but as can be seen from this year’s nominations, smaller companies continue to challenge them.”

A nomination for newcomer Morna Pearson’s play Distracted means she joins established playwrights Burke, Torben Betts (The Unconquered) and David Greig (Yellow Moon) in the Best New Play category. Wee Stories’ Is This a Dagger? and Catherine Wheels’ The Lion of Kabul are nominated in Best Show for Children and Young People.

Meanwhile, The Arches’ Spend a Penny, a series of one-to-one performances in a nightclub toilet, was nominated for Best Production. Gerda Stevenson is nominated for Best Female Performance for Nancy in Frozen (Rapture Theatre Company), and for Best Male Performance, Sandy Grierson is nominated in the title role of Fergus Lamont (Communicado Theatre Company).

The CATS will be awarded in a ceremony at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on June 10.

The nominations in full are

Best Male Performance

  • Liam Brennan as Otto Meier in Tom Fool, Citizens
  • Sandy Grierson as Fergus Lamont in Fergus Lamont, Communicado
  • Stuart McQuarrie as Stuart in Realism, NTS / EIF
  • Richard Addison as Douglas Beechey in Man of the Moment, Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Best Female Performance

  • Meg Fraser as Martha Meier in Tom Fool, Citizens
  • Irene Macdougall as Princess Kosmonopolis in Sweet Bird of Youth, Dundee Rep
  • Gerda Stevenson as Nancy in Frozen, Rapture
  • Jill Riddiford as Susan in Bed Among the Lentils, Tron/Glasgay

Best Director

  • Clare Lizzimore for Tom Fool, Citizens
  • John Tiffany for Black Watch, NTS
  • Martin Duncan for Man of La Mancha, Royal Lyceum
  • John Dove for All My Sons, Royal Lyceum

Best Ensemble

  • Fergus Lamont, Communicado
  • Black Watch, NTS
  • Man of La Mancha, Royal Lyceum
  • Tilt, Traverse

Best New Play

  • Gregory Burke, Black Watch, NTS
  • Torben Betts, The Unconquered, Stellar Quines
  • David Greig, Yellow Moon, TAG
  • Morna Pearson, Distracted, Traverse

Best Show for Children and Young People

  • Nicola McCartney and Catherine Wheels, The Lion of Kabul, Catherine Wheels
  • David Greig/Wils Wilson, Gobbo, NTS Ensemble
  • David Greig, Yellow Moon, TAG
  • Andy Cannon, Is this a Dagger?, Wee Stories

Best Design

  • Karen Tennant, The Lion of Kabul, Catherine Wheels
  • Naomi Wilkinson and Bruno Poet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dundee Rep
  • Francis O’Connor and Chris Ellis, Man of La Mancha, Royal Lyceum
  • Keith McIntyre and Jeanine Davies, The Unconquered, Stellar Quines

Best Use of Music

  • Nerea Bello/Galvarino Ceron-Carrasco for Amada, Arches
  • Davey Anderson for Black Watch, NTS
  • Gordon Rigby for GBH, Oran Mor
  • Robert Pettigrew for Man of La Mancha, Royal Lyceum

Best Technical Presentation

  • Fergus Lamont, Communicado
  • Monkey, Dundee Rep/Scottish Dance Theatre
  • Black Watch, NTS
  • Man of La Mancha, Royal Lyceum

Best Production

  • Spend a Penny, Arches
  • Tom Fool, Citizens
  • Black Watch, NTS
  • Aalst, NTS/Tramway/Victoria
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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster