#stworldclass delivers big style
No doubt many of you will have come across the #stworldclass hashtag that was kicked off by David Greig the other week. In the space of a single day it prompted a huge outpouring of support that served to highlight just what an incredible level of success Scottish artists have achieved on the world stage.
And it now proves that the launch of the tag could not have been more timely. By a happy coincidence Sunday the 10th of April was the day on which both the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) and the Tony’s (Broadway’s equivalent of the Oscars) were presented.
The CATS awards celebrated a fantastic range of work, but I was particularly delighted to see Kieran Hurley pick up the award for Best New Play for his show BEATS. Kieran has already carved out an international reputation for himself as a fantastic and committed performer – touring Europe with just himself, a suitcase and a couple of intensely personal and political shows.
And then just a few hours later we received the news that John Tiffany, Associate Director of NTS and former Artistic Director of The Traverse, had been awarded the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical for Once – a show that went on to scoop 9 of the 12 awards it was nominated for. No doubt it will take pride of place on his mantelpiece next to the Olivier award he picked up for Black Watch.
How could we have possibly asked for a better illustration of the sheer range, and the strength in depth, of Scottish theatre? On the one hand we have a phenomenally talented young Scottish performer, intensely critical of capitalism, gaining the kind of recognition that he richly deserves. On the other hand we have someone who; studied, who built a career, and who lives and works in Scotland, picking up one of world’s top theatre awards for a show that’s proved a smash hit in one of the most intensely commercial theatre markets there is.
The main point that I want to make here is that we can have both of these things. We don’t have to value one over the other. And as long as we can continue to attract, train and retain this level of talent then the future looks very rosy indeed.