LEADING Scottish actors Alan Cumming and Blythe Duff were honoured at the nation's leading theatre awards last night.

Cumming, currently working in New York, and Duff won awards at the 2013 Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) in a ceremony at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre.

Cumming said his one-man Macbeth for the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS), for which he won the award, was the "thing I am most proud of in my career."

Nine different productions won awards, with a special CATS whisker's prize going to Vicky Featherstone, former NTS artistic director.

The prizes were presented by one of Scotland's leading playwrights and artists, John Byrne, at an event that also marked the 50th anniversary of the Traverse Theatre.

The best production award went to Stellar Quines for The List, while Perth Theatre won both best director and best ensemble awards for The Seafarer.

Rob Drummond won the best new play award for Quiz Show.

Cumming won best male performance for "an unforgettable, bravura performance" in Macbeth, "one of the most memorable moments in Scottish theatre this year."

Speaking from New York, where Cumming is performing the piece, he said: "I'm very grateful to the Scottish theatre critics, especially as Macbeth is the thing I am most proud of in my whole career.

"Thank you very much. It really means a lot to me, for something I feel so proud of, to be honoured by my country."

Duff, who played a killer in Iron by Firebrand Theatre, won best female award for a "thrillingly ambiguous and unsentimental performance in which she never let us be certain whether she was an innocent victim or a calculating psychopath."

The List, starring Maureen Beattie, was described as "a production that was perfectly formed in every delicate detail, like a Faberge egg."

Rachel O'Riordan won the best director award for The Seafarer. The judges said: "O'Riordan bypassed any temptation to keep things ordinary, opting instead for a fearless approach, which allowed her all-male cast to soar in what was clearly a labour of love."

Joyce McMillan, co-convenor of the awards, said: "That nine different productions are recognised in the 10 award categories at this year's CATS speaks volumes about the calibre of work being produced across the country."