Edinburgh Traverse Theatre leads the field in this year’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) with ten nominations across six out of a possible ten categories.

For the first time, the shortlist also includes a show rooted in the visual arts as much as in theatre with The Darktown Cakewalk: Celebrated from the House of FAME, performed as part of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, nominated for Best Ensemble and Best Use of Music and Sound.

Another CATS first is the addition of an all-inclusive company with Lung Ha’s nominated in the Best Ensemble category for Huxley’s Lab, a collaboration with Grid Iron.

Although theatre companies in Edinburgh and Glasgow dominate the shortlist it has also been a good year for Dundee Repertory Theatre with six nominations, while Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Perth Theatre and Fife Arts Trust have each appeared in at least one category.

Co-convenor Mark Fisher said: “It has been a bumper year for great theatre in Scotland and we were spoilt for choice when it came to making our selections. It means the 2010 shortlists represent a truly impressive range of talent, whether it is the most intimate one-person show or, as is the case with Huxley’s Lab, a production with a cast of 30. It’s sure to make for a lively ceremony on 13 June.”

As well as topping the awards list this year the Traverse Theatre also received the largest number of nominations for any one show, with The Dark Things appearing in six categories. Artistic director Dominic Hill appears twice on the shortlist for Best Director for The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? and The Dark Things, with both plays competing for Best Production.

Dundee Repertory Theatre also has plenty to celebrate with A Christmas Carol and The Elephant Man each receiving three nominations, while the Tron Theatre in Glasgow appears in four different categories for The Government Inspector, a co-production with Communicado Theatre Company.

CATS newcomers this year include playwrights Alan Bissett for Turbo Folk (A Play, a Pie and a Pint) and Kieran Hurley for Hitch (The Arches), while Lung Ha’s Theatre Company, Theatre Modo, the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and Giant have also appeared on the shortlist for the first time.

Now in its eighth year, the CATS has become a highlight of the theatrical calendar in Scotland, celebrating the actors, directors, playwrights and other artists who have made the most thrilling contributions to the industry over the past 12 months. This year the ceremony will be held for a second time at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh on Sunday 13 June at 3pm.

The event is open to members of the public and offers a unique opportunity for audiences to come together with the cream of the Scottish theatre community and celebrate the contribution that work produced in Scotland makes to the cultural life of the country.

Tickets cost £15 (including live entertainment, entry to the awards ceremony, drinks and light refreshments) and can be purchased through the Festival Theatre box office. For further information on the CATS visit www.criticsawards.theatrescotland.com.

NOMINATIONS:

BEST ACTOR (MALE), sponsored by Guy Robertson Partnership:
-John Bett as the Governor, The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre
-Brian Ferguson as Daniel, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
-Kevin Lennon as John Merrick, The Elephant Man, Dundee Rep
-Jimmy Yuill, Testament Of Cresseid, Edinburgh International Festival

BEST ACTOR (FEMALE):
-Suzanne Donaldson as LJ, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
-Suzie Ferguson, Sick, Theatre Modo
-Cara Kelly as Maureen Folan, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Royal Lyceum
-Sian Thomas as Stevie, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Traverse Theatre


BEST ENSEMBLE:
-A Christmas Carol, Dundee Rep
-The Darktown Cakewalk: Celebrated from the House of FAME, Sorcha Dallas, The Work Room, Tramway, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art
-The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre
-Huxley's Lab, Grid Iron/Lung Ha's


BEST DIRECTOR:
-Ken Alexander, Whisky Galore, Pitlochry Festival Theatre
-Dominic Hill, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
-Dominic Hill, The Goat, Traverse Theatre
-Jemima Levick, Elephant Man, Dundee Rep


BEST DESIGN:
-Kai Fischer (set and lighting) and Finn Ross (projection and video design), The Beggar's Opera, Royal Lyceum, Vanishing Point and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in association with Tramway
-Alex Lowde (set) and Colin Grenfell (lighting), The Elephant Man, Dundee Rep
-Jason Southgate (set) and Graham Sutherland (lighting), Cinderella, Citizens Theatre
-Neil Warmington (set) and Lizzie Powell (lighting), The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre


BEST USE OF MUSIC AND SOUND:
-Jon Beales, Shona McKee McNeil, Ian Hammond Brown and the company, Whisky Galore, Pitlochry Festival Theatre
-David Paul Jones, The Songbird, Giant
-Alasdair Macrae, The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre
-Stuart McCallum, The Darktown Cakewalk: Celebrated from the House of FAME, Sorcha Dallas, The Work Room, Tramway, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art


BEST TECHNICAL PRESENTATION, sponsored by Northern Light:
-Bright Black, Vox Motus (in association with Platform and supported by Cumbernauld Theatre and Fife Arts Trust)
-A Christmas Carol, Dundee Rep
-Jane Eyre, Perth Theatre
-Mr Write, National Theatre of Scotland


BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE:
-Cinderella, Citizens Theatre
-Mr Write, National Theatre of Scotland
-Pobby and Dingan, Catherine Wheels
-The Songbird, Giant


BEST NEW PLAY, sponsored by W&P Longreach:
-Alan Bissett, Turbo Folk, A Play, a Pie and a Pint
-Kieran Hurley, Hitch (Full Version), The Arches
-Dennis Kelly, Orphans, Traverse Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Paines Plough
-Ursula Rani Sarma, The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre


BEST PRODUCTION:
-A Christmas Carol, Dundee Rep
-The Dark Things, Traverse Theatre
-The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Traverse Theatre
-The Government Inspector, Communicado/Tron Theatre