Rowan Atkinson, Claire Bloom, Julian Glover, Rob Brydon and David Haig were among the recipients of the Queen’s Birthday honours, though Howard Panter, joint Chief Executive of the Ambassador Theatre Group, outshone his onstage colleagues, receiving a knighthood.
Panter, who with his wife Rosemary Squire (pictured together) founded ATG, the UK’s largest theatre owner/operator which also produces shows internationally, receives the honour for his services to theatre. In recent years these services have included co-producing shows including the Royal Court transfers of Posh, Jumpy and Constellations, All New People, Ghost The Musical, 9 To 5 The Musical, Legally Blonde The Musical and Monty Python’s Spamalot.
Another of theatre’s behind the scenes stars, National Theatre Executive Director Nicholas Starr, who joined the lauded venue in 2002 and has worked alongside Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner during a decade when the National has staged acclaimed show after acclaimed show and introduced schemes including the Travelex 10 season and cinema screening programme NT Live, receives the CBE for services to theatre. Outgoing Almeida theatre Artistic Director Michael Attenborough, who like Starr is soon to leave his role after more than a decade, receives the same honour for services to theatre.
Other backstage faces receiving the CBE include Director of the Royal Ballet School Gailene Stock for services to dance, General Director of Opera North Richard Mantle for services to music, the founder of physical theatre company DV8 Lloyd Newson for services to contemporary dance and Anton Woodward, whose engineering work has enhanced many a production on the London stage, for services to stage automation.
Those more easily recognisable faces receiving CBEs as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list include Mr Bean and Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson, recently seen in Quartermaine’s Terms, for services to drama and charity, Game Of Thrones’ Julian Glover, who will star in The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic this autumn and Claire Bloom, who both receive their honours for services to drama.
Fellow performers Rob Brydon, who appeared in 2012 hit A Chorus Of Disapproval, and David Haig, whose recent stage appearances include The Madness Of George III, Yes, Prime Minister and Loot, are honoured with the MBE for services to comedy and drama respectively.
Those who nurture the theatregoers and performers of the future were also recognised with MBEs, with Travelling Light Theatre Company’s Artistic Producer Jude Merrill and Anna Scher, founder of the Anna Scher Theatre, Islington’s theatre school that counts Kathy Burke, Phil Daniels and Naomie Harris among its alumni, also receiving the honour.