A MODERN-day version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol took two of the main prizess at the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland yesterday.

Graham McLaren's National Theatre of Scotland show A Christmas Carol took the awards for Best Production and Best Ensemble at the annual awards, Cats for short.

Ann Louise Ross won the top honour in the Best Female Performance category for her portrayal of Mill Lavarello in Dundee Rep's Further Than the Furthest Thing.

Kieran Hurley's Beats, by the Arches Theatre Company scooped the award for Best New Play, and Neil Warmington, Philip Gladwell, and Elizabeth Ogilvie won the Best Design award for Further than the Furthest Thing.

Stephen Clyde took the award for Best Male Performance for his role as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Bard in the Botanics in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Paddy Cunneen clinched the Best Music And Sound award for King Lear at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre.

Dominic Hill, director of the Citizens, was named Best Director for Betrayal at the Citizens.

The Frozen Charlotte theatre company won the award for the best show for children and young people with Too Many Penguins, a co-production with the MacRobert theatre in Stirling.

Now in its tenth year, the awards event took place at Glasgow Tron Theatre and was hosted by Scots Hollywood star Alan Cumming.

Critic Joyce MacMillan, co-convener of the awards, said: "The Cats judges are delighted and thrilled by sheer range of Scottish theatre work reflected in this year's list of Cats winners.

"From a terrific Shakespeare production created on a shoestring in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, through the world-beating technical innovation of the National Theatre of Scotland's Five-Minute Theatre, to the sheer beauty and power of mainstage productions in Glasgow, Dundee, or Perth, Scottish-based theatre artists create work across a dazzling range of styles and genres, both traditional and cutting-edge, and our winners represent the very best that each of them has to offer."

The Cats judging panel for 2012 included Mary Brennan and Neil Cooper of The Herald and Mark Brown of the Sunday Herald.

Mr Cooper said of Beats: "Kieran Hurley may still only be in his twenties, but his dramatised observations of the early 1990s free party scene in Beats are authentically spot-on."

He added that Beats was a "presciently of-the-moment play for today".

Mr Brown said that Hill's productions of Harold Pinter's Betrayal at the Citizens was a superb start to his directorship there.

"Brilliantly accomplished in every department, from the casting to the excellent use of a revolving stage, it captured utterly the raw energy, the intense atmosphere, the captivating, sparse poetry and the clever comedy of this modern classic," he said.