STILL Game: Live at the SSE Hydro was not Scottish enough for the judges of Scotland’s biggest theatre award. The award judges disqualified the show as producer, Phil McIntyre Entertainments, is based in London.
Writer and star Greg Hemphill hit out at the ludicrousness of the situation.
He said he did not mind the show not being shortlisted as the judges are “entitled to not nominate it”.
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But he added: “I do take issue with their judgement that it wasn’t a Scottish show. That is just ludicrous”
Still Game: Live played to sold-out audiences at the Hydro for 21 days straight in September and October last year. Around 200,000 people saw the show.
A spokesperson for the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (Cats) explained why it hadn’t made the shortlist: “We have our criteria, which involves the show being produced in Scotland – this show was in fact produced by a production company in London.
“It’s not about the cast being Scottish or ‘how Scottish it is’.
“We have had many other shows that have not made our shortlist before because the production company is not in Scotland.”
Alan Anderson, the producer of the Scottish Comedy Awards, where Still Game swept up earlier this year, believed there were ulterior motives at play.
“Still Game was conceived by Scots, written by Scots, with music by Scots, performed in Scotland, attended by almost 5% of the population of Scotland, many of whom have either never been in a theatre or only been in one for panto. This stinks of the traditional theatre fraternity being scared of the most innovative and mainstream theatre production in the UK last year.”
Also overlooked in the award nomination were the James Plays. The series of three plays by Rona Munro was produced at the Edinburgh International Festival by the National Theatre of Scotland last August. The shows were awarded the Best New Play at the London Evening Standard awards, but failed to make the shortlist for the Cats.
In other awards, the Cats were dominated by the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.
The theatre, which had its funding cut by Creative Scotland last year by 17.5%, gained 17 nominations over 10 categories including three out of four nominations for the best production award. The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Venetian Twins, and Faith Healer at the Lyceum were joined by Slope from Glasgow’s Untitled Projects.
There were also four nominations for Catherine Wheels’ production The Voice Thief, including best production for children and young people. The National Theatre of Scotland received two nominations for The Tin Forest and Last Dream (On Earth).
Brian Ferguson was nominated for his performance in Hamlet. The Macrobert Arts Centre received four nominations, two each for its children’s theatre co-productions Tales of a Grandfather and Pine Tree, Poggle and Me.
A Play, A Pie and A Pint, who are based in Glasgow’s Oran Mor but also have shows on in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, received three nominations, including two in the best new play category.