Outlander actor Grant O’Rourke wins best actor at Scottish theatre awards

Three Royal Lyceum productions win Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland

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Outlander actor Grant O’Rourke wins best actor at Scottish theatre awards

Grant O’Rourke (r) in The Venetian Twins

The annual Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) have been announced, with Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum grabbing the headlines with three productions taking home gongs, including Best Male Performance Award for Outlander star Grant O’Rourke.

O’Rourke, who plays Rupert MacKenzie in the Amazon Prime/Starz TV series, proved ‘ferociously versatile’ in his portrayal of Zanetto and Tonino, the siblings separated at birth in The Venetian Twins, cutting a ‘gloriously schizophrenic figure’. The actor was also praised for not only his ability to differentiate the two roles, but also his mastery of ‘comic nuance’.

Amy Mason scooped her second Best Female Performance Award for her performance as Grusha in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which had the biggest night of all, winning Best Ensemble, Best Production and Best Director for Mark Thomson. Rounding out the trifecta for the Lyceum, Jamie Vartan and Simon Wilkinson won Best Design for Bondagers.

During the 2015 awards period, which runs from May–April, 196 productions were eligible for the CATS including 78 new plays. ‘This has been another wonderful year for theatre in Scotland, and it speaks volumes about the quality of the work being produced at the Royal Lyceum that no fewer than three of its productions have triumphed against such strong competition,’ said CATS co-convenor Mark Fisher.

Co-convenor Joyce McMillan also took the opportunity to recognise challenges faced within the community as well as the loss of The Arches as an arts venue. ‘As the Royal Lyceum enters is 50th anniversary year it has to cope with a major cut in funding ... Now we appear to have lost The Arches, a trailblazing company that is one of the most tangible legacies of Glasgow’s year as European Capital of Culture. We all sincerely wish that ways will be found to ensure the work commissioned and created by these wonderful companies continues to be part of Scotland’s rich theatrical landscape.’

The full list of Critic Awards for Theatre in Scotland are as follows:

CATS Whiskers (For outstanding achievement in pioneering and high-quality work by young people) – Junction 25 on its tenth anniversary.
Best Male Performance – Grant O'Rourke, The Venetian Twins, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Best Female Performance – Amy Manson, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Best Ensemble – The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Best Director – Mark Thomson,The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Best Design – Jamie Vartan (designer) and Simon Wilkinson (lighting designer), Bondagers, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Best Music and Sound – Tyler Collins, Gameli Tordzro and Matt Padden, Last Dream (On Earth), Kai Fischer in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Best Technical Presentation – Slope, Untitled Projects in partnership with KILTR, Citizens Theatre and Traverse Theatre Company
Best Production for Children and Young People – The Voice Thief, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company
Best New Play – Martin McCormick, Squash, A Play, a Pie and a Pint in association with the Traverse Theatre Company
Best Production – The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

The Venetian Twins

Tony Cownie's new version of Carlo Goldoni's timeless comedy tells the story of two estranged twins, Zanetto and Tonino. Though they look alike, as people they couldn't be more different. When the arrive in the same town on the same day, things start to get a little confusing.

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