Actors Janet McTeer and Chiwetel Ejiofor and playwrights Roy Williams and Tanika Gupta are among those named in the Queen’s birthday honours.
Laurence Olivier Award-winning actors McTeer and Ejiofor both receive OBEs. McTeer has credits including A Doll’s House at the Playhouse (for which she won the coveted Best Actress award in 1997), Mary Stuart at the Donmar Warehouse and the Apollo and this year’s God Of Carnage, which finished its run at the Gielgud on Saturday. Ejiofor’s OBE tops a highly successful year for the young actor, whose portrayal of Othello at the Donmar Warehouse saw him triumph in all the major awards ceremonies of the season. Ejiofor’s other London stage credits include Blue/Orange, The Vortex and The Seagull.
Williams also receives an OBE. The playwright is at the forefront of contemporary British writing and is known for his gritty, urban-set dramas, which include Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, Clubland, Fallout, Baby Girl and Days Of Significance, the latter two of which were both performed in London this year – Baby Girl at the National Theatre and Days Of Significance at the Tricycle.
Gupta, who receives an MBE, saw her play White Boy return to the Soho this year following the success of its premiere last year. Her many other plays include Gladiator Games (Stratford East), Fragile Land (Hampstead) and Sugar Mummies (Royal Court).
Also among those arts industry professionals recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours this year are Michael Lynch, Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre and Peter Hewitt, former Chief Executive of Arts Council England, who both receive CBEs for services to the arts. Comedian and actress Victoria Wood, who is known for her extensive television work as well as writing and starring in the Laurence Olivier Award-nominated musical Acorn Antiques (Haymarket, 2005), is also honoured with a CBE.
Monica Mason, Director of the Royal Ballet since 2002, is made a Dame of the British Empire for services to dance.
Others in the arts and entertainment industry to receive honours include EastEnders actress June Brown (MBE), entertainer Paul O’Grady (MBE), Doctor Who screenwriter Russell Davies (OBE), composer Michael Nyman (CBE), entertainer Des O’Connor (CBE), and cartoonist Gerald Scarfe (CBE), who provided designs for English National Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.