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Emma Rice. Photo by Steve Tanner

Emma Rice to receive Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award at the UK Theatre Awards 2019

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 15 October 2019, Last Updated 15 October 2019

UK Theatre Awards have announced this morning that they will be honouring theatremaker Emma Rice with this year’s Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award in the 2019 UK Theatre Awards.

The award recognises the unique, innovative and socially relevant work Emma has been creating and directing all around the UK for over two decades. She has had a significant influence on the landscape of contemporary theatre all over the country.

Emma Rice Award: Emma Rice at Shakespeare's GlobeEmma Rice at Shakespeare’s Globe

After performing, directing and eventually being appointed Artistic Director at Kneehigh, Emma became Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe in 2016. Last year, she founded her own company based in the South West – Wise Children – who also run a professional development programme that aims to train a new and more diverse generation of theatremakers.

Significant and critically acclaimed productions directed by Emma Rice include: The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk, Tristan and Yseult, The Wild Bride, The Red Shoes, Brief Encounter and A Matter Of Life And Death for Kneehigh, the West End production of The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, the Shakespeare’s Globe productions Romantics Anonymous and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the RSC production of The Empress, and recent touring adaptations of Angela Carter’s Wise Children and Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers for Wise Children.

Related Article: Nominees Announced for the 2019 UK Theatre Awards
The nominees have been announced for the 2019 UK Theatre Awards today, check out the full list of cast, creatives, plays and theatres nominated here.

Ahead of accepting the award, Emma said:

‘Oh my! I am proud, excited and utterly thrilled to be receiving the Outstanding Contribution Award at the UK Theatre Awards. This award is particularly meaningful to me as it not only recognises the body of work I have made over the years, but also the community of artists that I have made it with – a treasured community that remains loyal and inspirational to this day, as Wise Children goes from strength to strength.

‘I started my career in the South West, found my directorial voice in Cornwall and have toured the country finding friends and ideas wherever I went. Regional theatre is the pumping blood of British theatre and has given me a real and creative home to invest in, flourish in and return to. I am truly lucky and so grateful. 27 October here I come!’

Past recipients of UK Theatre’s Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award include critic Lyn Gardner, actor Ian McKellen, choreographer Matthew Bourne and actor Maxine Peake.

The full list of nominations for this year’s UK Theatre Awards is available on the UK Theatre website.



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