Critics set to honour a truly National Theatre

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THE National Theatre of Scotland has notched up six nominations in Scotland's leading theatre awards.

The company said it was "delighted" to be recognised yesterday for productions ranging from a community show with a cast of 250 to a new one-woman play.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh is also a strong contender in the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, earning six nominations for shows including a new production of the Oscar Wilde play The Importance of Being Earnest.

More than 200 shows were considered for this year's awards.

An NTS spokeswoman said the company was "particularly delighted" that Nothing to See Here, the Aberdeen production with a cast of 250, had been named for best ensemble.

"The range of awards for which we've been nominated demonstrates the breadth and quality of our work," she said.

Roadkill, a searing production examining the sex trafficking trade, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the Dundee Rep's new take on the Stephen Sondheim musical, were the leading productions, both in the running for five awards.

• Analysis: NTS and Traverse ride the floodtide of powerful work

The Royal Lyceum co-production Age of Arousal, the Traverse Theatre Company show The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, and the NTS's The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart were all in the running to pick up four trophies.

Musselburgh-based children's theatre company Catherine Wheels is in line for four awards, including two for Best Production for Children and Young People for White and Caged.

The awards co-convener, critic Mark Fisher, said: "It was a spectacular year for theatre in Scotland and, in category after category, the judges found themselves weighing one great show against another."

The nominations also include My Hands Are Dancing But My Heart Is Cold, in which Ian Smith performed a one-man show for an audience of one.

The awards, now in their ninth year, are backed by the Mackintosh Foundation, the charity set up by impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, and will be handed out in Edinburgh on 12 June.

Royal Lyceum Theatre director Mark Thompson said: "I'm delighted that our work this season has been enjoyed by the critics as much as our audience. It's been a fantastic season for us at the Lyceum."

Top Scottish actors Kate Dickie and Blythe Duff are among those facing off for the best actress title. David Birrell, playing Sweeney Todd, and Alex Ferns, in the recent revival of The Hard Man, are among those in the running for best actor.NOMINATIONS

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE:

David Birrell, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dundee Rep Theatre

Alex Ferns, The Hard Man, Scottish Theatres Consortium

Peter Forbes, Educating Agnes, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

Ian Smith, My Hands Are Dancing But My Heart Is Cold

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE:

Kate Dickie, Any Given Day, Traverse Theatre Company

Blythe Duff, Good With People, A Play, a Pie and a Pint, Paines Plough

Gemma McElhinney, The Monster in the Hall, TAG

Mercy Ojelade, Roadkill, Ankur Productions/Pachamama Productions

BEST DIRECTOR:

Cora Bissett, Roadkill

James Brining, Sweeney Todd

Muriel Romanes, Age of Arousal, Stellar Quines Theatre Company/Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

Mark Thomson, The Importance of Being Earnest, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

BEST NEW PLAY:

David Greig, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland

Chris Hannan, The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, Traverse Theatre Company/Belgrade Theatre, Coventry/English Touring Theatre

Roadkill, conceived by Cora Bissett, text by Stef Smith

Molly Taylor, Love Letters to the Public Transport System, National Theatre of Scotland

BEST PRODUCTION:

Age of Arousal

Roadkill

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street