Alan Cumming and Perth’s The Seafarer win at Scottish theatre awards

Ciaran McIntyre, Sean O'Callaghan, Louis Dempsey, Tony Flynn and Benny Young in The Seafarer. Photo: Eamonn McGoldrick
Ciaran McIntyre, Sean O'Callaghan, Louis Dempsey, Tony Flynn and Benny Young in The Seafarer. Photo: Eamonn McGoldrick
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Alan Cumming and Blythe Duff have won the best male and female performance awards at the annual Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, held at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre today.

Cumming's role in his one-man Macbeth was one of two awards for National Theatre of Scotland-associated productions. The other, for best design, went to Menage a Trois, produced in partnership with Claire Cunningham and Gail Sneddon.

Accepting his award from from New York, where Macbeth is currently running, Cumming said: "Macbeth is the thing I am most proud of in my whole career. Thank you very much, it really means a lot to me for something I feel so proud of to be honoured by my country."

The best female performance award went to former Taggart star Blythe Duff for a "thrillingly ambiguous and unsentimental performance" as Fay Black in the revival of Rona Munro's Iron. The award was the first for the Firebrand Theatre Company at its first ever nomination.

There were awards for nine productions over ten categories. Perth Theatre's production of The Seafarer was the only show to be recognised twice, with awards for best ensemble and for the production's director, Rachel O'Riordan.

Best production went to Edinburgh-based Stellar Quines for their production of Jennifer Tremblay's The List, directed by Muriel Romanes and starring Maureen Beattie, which was staged at Summerhall. It was a production the critics said was "perfectly formed in every delicate detail, like a Faberge egg."

The awards, now in their 11th year, were presented by John Byrne at a ceremony at Edinburgh's Traverse, which also marked the theatre's 50th anniversary.

Best new play went to Rob Drummond for his "twisting, duplicitous script" in Quiz Show at the Traverse. It is the seventh time a Traverse production has won this award in the CATS.

There was also a special CATS Whiskers award for the founding director of the National Theatre of Scotland, Vicky Featherstone, who has now moved on to the Royal Court.

Featherstone said of her eight years at the head of the NTS: "I learnt more about theatre, what it is for and its true value in our lives than I could ever have imagined. For that transformation I am eternally grateful. I am deeply proud too of the bravery, talent and passion of the Scottish artists and the hunger and challenge of the audiences I had the pleasure of working with and for."

The awards in full:

Best male performance

Alan Cumming (all parts), Macbeth, National Theatre of Scotland

Best female performance – sponsored by STV

Blythe Duff (Fay Black), Iron, Firebrand Theatre Company in association with Heart of Hawick

Best ensemble – sponsored by Equity

The Seafarer, a co-production between Perth Theatre and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast

Best director

Rachel O'Riordan, The Seafarer, a co-production between Perth Theatre and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast

Best design

Gail Sneddon (concept and video), Rachana Jadhav (set), Karsten Tinapp (lighting), Kevin Pollard (costume) and Ménage à Trois, the National Theatre of Scotland in partnership with Claire Cunningham and Gail Sneddon

Best music and sound

Hilary Brooks, Irving Berlin's White Christmas: The Musical, Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Best technical presentation – sponsored by Northern Light

The Incredible Adventures of See Thru Sam, Random Accomplice, Glasgow

Best show for children and young people

Sonata for a Man and a Boy, Greg Sinclair and the macrobert, Stirling

Best new play – sponsored by W&P Longreach

Rob Drummond, Quiz Show, Traverse Theatre Company, Edinburgh

Best production

The List, Stellar Quines, Edinburgh

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