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David Lan, Special Award winner (Photo: Johan Persson)

David Lan, Special Award winner (Photo: Johan Persson)

David Lan announced as Oliviers’ Special Award winner

Published 6 April 2018

Former Artistic Director of the Young Vic, director and playwright David Lan will be presented with the Special Award at the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard ceremony on Sunday 8 April at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The award will be presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution in leading the Young Vic since 2000, his work within the local community around the theatre, and his commitment to internationalism and diversity.

Lan stepped down as Artistic Director of The Young Vic earlier this year after leading the Young Vic for almost two decades. Over the course of his tenure, the Young Vic’s reputation has grown to become one of the most admired theatres in the world. It is known for its extensive and fully integrated outreach program, its engagement with young theatre artists, especially directors, as well as playing to an audience acknowledged to be the most diverse in the UK. David wrote the architectural brief for the 2004/6 re-development of the theatre, and led the entire project including a 24 show, 32 city walkabout season.

David Lan, Special Award winner (Photo: Johan Persson)David Lan, Special Award winner (Photo: Johan Persson)

He has produced the work of some of the most influential theatre makers of our time including Peter Brook, Ivo van Hove, Benedict Andrews, Susan Stroman, Stephen Daldry and Katie Mitchell, and has championed innovative ways of co-producing across the UK and internationally. Lan also is responsible for establishing The Young Vic’s Genesis Directors Programme, many of whose past members now lead theatres all over the UK. Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End and on Broadway (the Olivier Award-winning Yerma opening this March at the Park Avenue Armory, New York), and in other theatres around the world.

In addition, he founded the What Next? Alliance of arts organisations which now has ‘Chapters’ throughout the UK. The Young Vic has won eleven Olivier Awards under Lan’s tenure, including Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre in 2004 for his “audacious season” and artistic direction.

Past recipients of the Special Award include Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.

Widely recognised as the most prestigious stage honours, this year’s Olivier Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 8 April, and will be hosted by Catherine Tate.

Mastercard continues its partnership with Society of London Theatre and its headline sponsorship of the Olivier Awards, bringing cardholders with a passion for theatre closer to the genre they love.


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