OUTLANDER star Grant O'Rourke has been announced as the critics' choice as Best Actor at a prestigious ceremony.

The actor who plays Rupert in the popular television drama series scooped the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland accolade for his role in the Venetian Twins at the gala event at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh dominated the 2015 CATS awards with three different productions recognised.

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The Venetian Twins and Bondagers picked up one award each while The Caucasian Chalk Circle garnered four awards.

O'Rourke won his first CATS award, while Bondagers picked up the Best Design Award.

Best Female Performance went to Amy Manson, Best Ensemble director Mark Thomson and the supreme award, Best Production, went to The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

The awards were presented by acclaimed comedian and actor Karen Dunbar and Tron artistic director Andy Arnold, who was also the original force behind the troubled Arches.

The critics said in a remarkable season at the Lyceum, Mark Thomson's production of Brecht's great play stood out for its scale, ambition and unabashed theatricality.

CATS co-convenor Mark Fisher said: "This has been another wonderful year for theatre in Scotland, and it speaks volumes about the quality of the work being produced at the Royal Lyceum that no fewer than three of its productions have triumphed against such strong competition.

"Amy Manson, whose affecting portrayal of Grusha in The Caucasian Chalk Circle won her a second Best Female Performance award and Grant O'Rourke, who picks his first Best Male Performance award for his superb performance in The Venetian Twins, were both worth winners for roles in two very contrasting Royal Lyceum productions."

Mr Arnold also paid tribute to the Arches, which is in administration. He said: "I'm extremely sad that this has happened and feel particularly for the long-serving and hard-working staff.

"Most of all, Glasgow has lost a unique and extraordinary arts venue - a breeding ground for so much artistic talent - and the cultural profile of this city will be damaged as a result."

Elsewhere, Catherine Wheels added to its tally of CATS, garnering its sixth Best Production for Children and Young People Award for Voice Thief, and Scotland's two leading commissioners of new work - A Play, A Pie and A Pint and the Traverse - picked up the Best New Play Award for Martin McCormick's Squash.

The Best Music and Sound Award went to Last Dream (On Earth), a Kai Fischer production in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Tron Theatre, Glasgow. Also recognised in the 2015 Awards was Stewart Laing's Untitled Projects.

Slope, produced in partnership with KILTR, Citizens Theatre and Traverse Theatre Company, won the Best Technical Presentation Award.

Theatre by and for children and young people continues to grow in quality and quantity in Scotland.

This year the critics awarded the special CATS Whiskers accolade to Junction 25 for outstanding achievement in pioneering and high-quality work by young people.

Since it was set up ten years ago by Tashi Gore and Jess Thorpe, with the support of former Tramway producer Steve Slater, it has grown into one of the most critically acclaimed youth theatre companies in the UK.

Louise Macdonald, chief executive of backer Young Scot, said: "Scotland should be proud and excited by the talent that exists here and we hope that this award might motivate other young people to get involved."