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Arlene Phillips and Derek Jacobi honoured at the Olivier Awards with Mastercard 2023

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 22 February 2023, Last Updated 28 February 2023

We are delighted to announce today the recipients of our two special Olivier Awards at this year’s celebration, designed to recognise the incredible contribution of two individuals to the theatre industry as a result of their long and illustrious careers.

Dame Arlene Phillips has been awarded this years Special Award, and Sir Derek Jacobi receives the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Arlene is a show business legend, honoured as a DBE for her services to dance and charity for over 40 years. Previously nominated for two Olivier Awards in the ‘Best Theatre Choreographer’ category, she is recognised for her involvement with shows such as Starlight Express, Grease and Saturday Night Fever.

Arlene has also choreographed for high profile music videos for Whitney Houston, Elton John and Queen and films including Annie, Ridley Scott’s Legend and Monty Python. She’s also lent her expertise to TV shows Strictly Come Dancing, and So You Think You Can Dance, as an expert just and as an events choreographer for the BRIT Awards, The Royal Variety Show and Children in Need.

Sir Derek Jacobi has garnered critical acclaim over his 60-year career on stage and screen and been the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Olivier Awards for Cyrano de Bergerac and Twelfth Night. He was one of the founding members of the National Theatre, enlisted by Laurence Olivier himself! In 1994, Derek was awarded a knighthood for his services to theatre.

His lengthy career has known no bounds, from his famous affiliation with Shakespearean revivals both in film and theatre – including Hamlet, Romeo And Juliet, King Lear – to his notable roles on the small screen like Last Tango In Halifax, The Crown and Vicious. His other noteworthy cinema appearances include Gladiator, The Kings Speech and Murder On The Orient Express.

Claire Walker and Hannah Essex, co-CEOs of Society of London Theatre said:

“We would like to offer an enormous congratulations to the two recipients of the Special Awards – Dame Arlene Phillips, for her inspiring work in dance and choreography, and Sir Derek Jacobi, for his incredible, life-long service to the theatre as an actor.”

“This year’s honourees have inspired generations with their work, and it is a privilege to be able to publicly recognise them in this year’s awards”

You can tune in to see all the nominations for the rest of this year’s awards on Tuesday 28 February at 2pm on our YouTube channel here, and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be the first to hear all the latest news.

And you can still buy tickets to join us in the night and be the very first to hear the winners announced in the room! Get yours now exclusively through priceless.com.


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