Actress Janet Suzman and director Michael Grandage lead the list of theatre stars to be named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
South Africa-born British actress Suzman is made a Dame for services to drama. The actress’s career began in 1962, when she starred in Billy Liar in Ipswich, joining the Royal Shakespeare Company a year later and playing a wealth of Shakespeare’s leading female roles. Her most recent London outings include 2006’s Whose Life Is It Anyway? opposite Kim Cattrall and 2010’s Dream Of The Dog, which ran at the Finborough theatre before transferring to the Trafalgar Studios.
The Donmar Warehouse’s Artistic Director Grandage is given the CBE for his services to drama. The award comes as he prepares to say goodbye to the powerhouse West End producing theatre that he has run since 2002, picking up accolades, transfers and awards aplenty along the way.
Also receiving CBEs for services to drama are director Christopher Morahan and Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, while Peter James, the former Principal of LAMDA, is given the honour for services to the arts.
Author, playwright and new Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, whose children’s books such as The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child are regularly staged in London, is given the MBE for services to literature, while Oily Cart founder Timothy Webb receives the same honour for services to drama for children with special needs.
Other notable recipients of Birthday Honours include performers Tim Brooke-Tayler, Graeme Garden and Bernard Cribbins, who all receive the OBE, and Bruce Forsyth, who is given a Knighthood for his work both in the entertainment industry and for charity.