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The Signalman wins CATS Awards

Thu 12th November 2020

The Signalman by Peter Arnott wins big at the 2020 CATS Awards!

Peter Arnott’s Tay Bridge Disaster monologue won three awards at the 2020 CATS AWARDS, including the supreme ‘Best Production’ award. Ken Alexander was also shortlisted for ‘Best Director’.

Best Male Performance
Tom McGovern (Thomas Barclay) WINNER

Best New Play
Peter Arnott, The Signalman WINNER

Best Production
The Signalman, Peter Arnott WINNER

Best Director
Ken Alexander, The Signalman SHORTLISTED

Originally performed at Òran Mór last September, this beautifully written monologue examines the Tay Bridge Disaster from the unique perspective of Thomas Barclay, the young signalman who waved the Edinburgh-Dundee train through on to the bridge that evening. Forty years on, in 1919, Thomas relives the events of that night which have haunted him.

Who is responsible when accidents occur, and why do we need somebody to blame…even if it’s ourselves?

The Signalman forms a solo companion piece to Peter Arnott’s 2019 play Tay Bridge and was conceived by Arnott from an original idea by actor Tom McGovern.

“I’m delighted about the award. I’m especially pleased for Tom. It was conversations with him back when we did The Cone Gatherers that led ultimately to both this play, and to Tay Bridge, its companion piece for Dundee Rep.”

Peter Arnott


A highlight of the Scottish theatre calendar, CATS celebrates the actors, directors, playwrights and other theatre artists who have made the most thrilling contributions of the year. 

There will be no online awards ceremony, because we love the live experience, and will celebrate this work at a live ceremony and party just as soon as that is possible. In the meantime, though, we hope the celebration of these wonderful shows from 2019–20 will remind us of the sheer richness of Scotland’s theatre scene, of what we stand to lose if we don’t support our theatre-makers through this crisis, and of how much there is to look forward to, when our wonderful theatres are finally able to open their doors again.” 

Joyce McMillan, CATS co-convenor.

For a full list of 2020 winners please visit critics awards.theatrescotland.com

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