Praise for Critics' Awards Ceremony That Began as 'Small Affair'

A recent awards ceremony organised by theatre critics in Scotland has been recognised as having come a long way since it was founded.

On Sunday, Hollywood actor, Alan Cumming, compered the tenth incarnation of the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland, the results of which received extensive coverage in the media.

But, says the BBC Scotland arts correspondent, Pauline McLean, she remembers the first ever CATS awards as having been a “small affair”.

She writes of that event' “Even the small band of Scottish theatre critics who set the event up seemed slightly bemused by what they had created but aware that things were changing on the cultural landscape.”

“A decade on with a National theatre company, a raft of new shows and a controversial shake-up of funding for many companies, the CATs have an important role beyond a backslapping awards ceremony.”

The founder of CATS was Robert Dawson-Scott, now editor at but back then freelancing for The Times having previously been arts editor at The Scotsman.  

Continues McLean: “They give a sense of the scale of the industry and the range of work on offer.”