Nicole Cooper wins Best Female Performance at CATS Awards 2017

Written by Denitsa Pashova, QMU student on work placement with SDTN. Photo credit: Robert Perry

On Sunday 11 June, the 15th annual Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) were held at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

The awards celebrated a year’s worth of incredible theatre made in Scotland and were guest hosted by Gavin Mitchell (Still Game) who presented the awards and entertained everyone throughout the evening. There were 10 categories, with four nominees in each. What was really noticeable throughout the ceremony, was that each winner acknowledged the shared creative endeavor involved in making theatre and celebrated the whole team.

The Scottish Drama Training Network were proud to be sponsoring the award for Best Female Performance and would like to congratulate all the actors nominated; Lucy Briggs-Owen, Louise McCarthyGemma McElhinney and Nicole Cooper.

Nicole Cooper was announced as the winner for her performance in Coriolanus, Bard in the Botanics, Scotland’s biggest and best-loved Shakespeare Festival that hosts a range of productions every summer.
“As Coriolanus in Bard in the Botanics’ stripped-back production of Shakespeare’s war-time classic, Nicole Cooper took on a role usually associated with unhinged machismo and stomped her way through the Kibble Palace with a whirlwind-like ferocity. This not only gave the play a fresh edge of femininity in a still contemporary work, but pointed to a major actor, who can tackle big roles with a mix of fearlessness and sensitivity.” Neil Cooper, The Herald

After the awards ceremony Nicole told SDTN; “I am quite overwhelmed. It sounds a bit cliché, but it was an absolute honour to be nominated, so winning this award I felt very special, really lucky”. She went on to say that the CATS is a fantastic event, showcasing what a great year it was for Scottish theatre. Nicole went on to tell us about her future plans: in rehearsal at the moment, Nicole is preparing for two plays next season with Bard in the Botanics. She concluded that she hoped this award would shine some light on the work produced by the company.

For a full list of the winners and their categories, visit the CATS website.

The Network at CATS

SDTN attended the awards with members of our new graduate ensemble, The Network (pictured above). The group was buzzing with excitement as they attended their first social event as an ensemble and enjoyed discussing the nominated plays they had watched during the year. As a whole it was a very inspiring event with an evident spirit of collaboration and support between all stakeholders.

It was also a great networking opportunity, to be able to chat to some of Scotland’s best known theatre critics, directors, producers, and actors. Co-organizer of the event, Mark Fisher, happy to have young theatre-lovers at the event, made time to chat to The Network at the reception after the ceremony. He added that this event is for everyone, not just for the nominees. The CATS awards are a great opportunity for all theatre-lovers to celebrate and talk in person to the people who have produced their favorite productions and he hoped SDTN would bring even more drama students to the event in future.

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