The National Theatre of Scotland is today celebrating success at the 2020 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS), with three wins from six nominations. The annual awards, which had been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, celebrate the best of Scottish theatre achievements going back to May 2019, with the awards announced online today.
Anna Russell Martin has been awarded Best Female Performance for her powerful star turn as Anais Hendricks, counter-cultural heroine of The Panopticon, the stage adaptation of Jenni Fagan’s best-selling novel inspired by her own personal experiences of the care system in Scotland.
Thank You Very Much, Claire Cunningham's powerful ode to the world of tribute artists, was another big winner, picking up two awards along with an additional nomination. The cast was honoured with the Best Ensemble Award, while the work of sound designer and composer Matthias Hermann was also recognised with the Best Music and Sound Award.
The production, a co-production between Manchester International Festival, National Theatre of Scotland and Perth Festival in association with tanzhaus nrw and Dance Umbrella, was also nominated in the Best Production category.
There were additional nominations for two other National Theatre of Scotland productions: Rachana Jadhav and Karen Bryce shortlisted for the Best Design Award for their work on Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, as well as Carla J Easton and Fiona Johnston for Best Music & Sound on Them!
On her win, Anna Russell Martin said "During lockdown, I had a lot of time to think about what made my experience with The Panopticon so special. As always, it was being able to work with incredibly talented , hardworking and passionate people. More than ever, it’s essential that we fight for this industry and the remarkable artists who make it. It’s clear just how much we’re starving for theatre right now, and to be a part of a ceremony dedicated to celebrating it is a huge honour."
Claire Cunningham said "On behalf of the performers of Thank You Very Much; Dan Daw, Tanja Erhart, Vicky Malin and myself I would like to say a profound thank you (very much!) for this award. At this time in particular, where none of us know when we will be with, and be close with, audiences again it feels particularly touching to feel remembered and to know that our presence burned vividly in the memories of those who shared space with us during our shows. As disabled artists, at a time when there is genuine fear among our wider community of being forgotten or of categorisation as "vulnerable" or even "expendable", this recognition of our presence and contribution feels especially vital. We would like to acknowledge that, as the visible ensemble of the work, this award also carries beyond us to the whole ensemble involved in making & staging Thank You Very Much and extend our own thanks to them for their care, talent and support in crafting the world we truly revel in performing within. Thank you sincerely to the CATS award panel for brightening all our days with this news."