Here are the big winners at Scotland's annual theatre Oscars as Still Game and Limmy's Show star honoured

Paul McCole recognised for The Sheriff of Kalamaki

A former star of Limmy’s Show and Still Game has been awarded one of the biggest honours in Scottish theatre.

Paul McCole picked up the best performance award at the annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland ceremony for a play in which he played one of two brothers – opposite his real-life brother, Stephen.

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Douglas Maxwell’s play The Sheriff of Kalamaki, premiered at Oran Mor as part of its lunchtime theatre series A Play, A Pie and A Pint.

Paul McCole was honoured for best performance at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for his performance in Douglas Maxwell's play The Sheriff of Kalamaki.Paul McCole was honoured for best performance at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for his performance in Douglas Maxwell's play The Sheriff of Kalamaki.
Paul McCole was honoured for best performance at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for his performance in Douglas Maxwell's play The Sheriff of Kalamaki.

The show, which was named best new play at the awards, focuses on a Glaswegian man, played by Paul McCole, living life on the Greek island of Zante, where he keeps watch on troublesome British tourists, but is suddenly asked to help his older brother, played by Stephen McCole, when he arrives unexpectedly.

Paul McCole, who recently joined the cast of River City, is best-known for playing various characters in Brian “Limmy” Limond’s BBC sketch show and his role as Jimmy in the STV series High Times. He has also appeared in Still Game, Rab C Nesbitt, Chris McQeer’s Hings and The Scotts.

Previous stage work has included the National Theatre of Scotland shows The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart and Orphans.

Anna Burnside, one of the CATS judges, said: “Paul McCole has a lot to do as Dion in The Sheriff of Kalamaki. He is gallus and vulnerable at the same time, his Glaswegian charisma hiding quiet desperation.”

Gill Robertson was recognised for best performance at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for the one-woman show Lightning Ridge.Gill Robertson was recognised for best performance at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for the one-woman show Lightning Ridge.
Gill Robertson was recognised for best performance at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for the one-woman show Lightning Ridge.

Gill Robertson was the other best performance CATS winner, for the multiple roles she plays in Lightning Ridge, theatre company Catherine Wheels’ one-woman show for families. The show, which is set in the Australian Outback and based on Ben Rice’s award-winning book Poppy and Dignan, was also named best production for children and young people.

CATS judge Thom Dibdin said: “It is a thoroughly considered piece of storytelling. It needs to be - it carries a twist that grown-ups might see coming from quite a long way off, and be braced for, but for which young people will not necessarily pick up all the warning signs.”

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The big winner at the CATS ceremony, which was held at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, was The Tron Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s play Escaped Alone at the Tron Theatre.

Its cast of Blythe Duff, Ann Kidd, Irene McDougall and Joanna Tope were named best ensemble, Joanna Bowman was named best director, and the post-apocalyptic drama claimed the coveted best production award.

Andy Arnold was given an 'exceptional contribution' honour at the annual  Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland ceremony in Glasgow. Picture: Infinite Blue DesignsAndy Arnold was given an 'exceptional contribution' honour at the annual  Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland ceremony in Glasgow. Picture: Infinite Blue Designs
Andy Arnold was given an 'exceptional contribution' honour at the annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland ceremony in Glasgow. Picture: Infinite Blue Designs

Joyce McMillan, co-convener of the CATS judging panel, said: “Escaped Alone featured an outstanding cast with unforgettable lighting and sound. Joanna Bowman’s production emerged as perhaps the most essential 50 minutes of theatre in Scotland this year.”

The awards ceremony saw Andy Arnold honoured for an “exceptional contribution” to Scottish theatre in recognition of his work at Theatre Workshop in Edinburgh, and The Arches and Tron Theatre in Glasgow.

Arnold said: “If your passion in life is to make theatre, to have your own space to do it in is an absolute dream.”

"That’s the situation I’ve found myself in these past 40-odd years – making my own work in three inspirational buildings: Theatre Workshop, The Arches and The Tron - and providing space for other theatre-makers to do likewise. It’s been a joy.”

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