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Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard envelope (Photo: David Levene)

Special Recognition Awards announced for the Olivier Awards 2020

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood Published 14 February 2020

We’re delighted to announce the recipients of the Special Recognition Awards for the Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard.

This year, five people have been awarded the accolade, honouring their outstanding contribution to the theatre industry. Those individuals are Jo Hawes, Thelma Holt, Stephen Jameson, Sarah Preece and Peter Roberts.

Jo Hawes CDG

Children’s casting director Jo Hawes CDG will receive a Special Recognition Award for driving the industry’s work on child casting and licensing, and her leadership in chaperoning. Jo started her career in stage management before becoming the Children’s Casting Director for Oliver! at the London Palladium in 1995. Since then, she has helped shape the industry, working on big West End shows including Les Misérables, Mary Poppins and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

She also runs performing arts and auditioning courses and classes for children all around the UK and abroad, as well as courses for chaperones. In 2012 she wrote Children In Theatre, a guide for parents of child performers. The award will be presented by actor Jonathan Sayer.

Thelma Holt

Thelma Holt receives her award in recognition of her long and varied career in theatre. Thelma founded the Open Space Theatre and has been director of the Roundhouse, commercial producer at the National Theatre and Associate Producer for the RSC. She’s won awards as an independent producer, worked with many great actors and was even awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan for her promotion of Japanese theatre in the UK, largely in collaboration with director Yukio Ninagawa.

She represented the Cameron Mackintosh Drama Fund at Oxford University for 20 years, is an Emeritus Fellow of St Catherine’s College and became a Distinguished Friend of Oxford in 2006. Her most recent production has been Kunene And The King, which is currently playing at the Ambassadors Theatre to critical acclaim. She will be presented her award by producer and theatre owner Nica Burns.

Stephen Jameson and Sarah Preece

Stephen Jameson and Sarah Preece will be awarded as joint Chief Executives of Mountview for their achievements at the helm of the school. In particular, their efforts in moving the school, their dedication to the community and their commitment to improving accessibility and diversity are being recognised.

Having relocated from North London, the new campus of Mountview opened doors in September 2018 with a wider rehearsal space and a fully accessible campus. Actor and Mountview alum Giles Terera will present their awards.

Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts will be recognised for his work as a theatre consultant and as former Delfont Mackintosh Technical Director, for his skill and effort in helping to consolidate theatre’s access to radio spectrum.

With a specific interest in the technical side of the industry, training and Industrial Affairs, Peter has been a member of SOLT since 1983, and is now an Honorary Life Member. The award will be presented to him by producer Nick Allott.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre and Executive Producer of the Olivier Awards, said:

‘It is a privilege to publicly honour the inspirational careers of these five people, all working in very different fields, but who have all had a huge impact behind the scenes and inspired countless theatre industry colleagues.’


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Olivier Awards 2020 special award

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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

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While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.