The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director Michael Boyd (pictured centre) and Executive Director Vikki Heywood are among a host of theatre professionals to be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The duo’s timely recognition for their services to drama comes as they both prepare to leave the company later this year. Together Boyd, who has received a knighthood, and Heywood, who has been awarded a CBE, led the company through a period of change that included helping the RSC back to a sound financial status, overseeing successful transfers to the West End and bringing audiences and actors closer together with a multi-million pound redevelopment of the company’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Also receiving a knighthood for services to drama is acclaimed actor Kenneth Branagh, while Upstairs Downstairs star Jean Marsh, who appeared on stage most recently in Boeing Boeing at the Harold Pinter theatre, and playwright, director and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah were awarded OBEs. Kate Winslet, who despite her extensive film credits is yet to appear on the London stage, also received a CBE for services to drama.
There were a number of notable honours recipients in the worlds of opera and dance with director David McVicar receiving a knighthood for services to opera, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells Alistair Spalding being awarded a CBE and co-founders of the Ballet Boyz Michael Nunn and William Trevitt receiving OBEs for services to dance.
Music Director of English National Opera Edward Gardner and Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House Elaine Padmore were also awarded OBEs for services to music alongside Chief Executive of Birmingham Symphony and Town Hall Andrew Jowett.
Songwriter, lyricist and musician Richard Stilgoe led the recipients of charity-based awards, receiving a knighthood for his charity work through the Alchemy Foundation, while stage and screen star Jenny Agutter received an OBE for charitable services and actress and founder of Artists Theatre School Amanda Redman was awarded an MBE for services to drama and charity.
Other worthy recipients of MBEs were NITRO’s Artistic Director Felix Cross for services to musical theatre and founder of the James Menzies-Kitchin Trust Clare Menzies-Kitchin for services to drama.