Nica Burns OBE
Nica Burns

Theatrical nods in New Year Honours

Published December 31, 2012

Director of the Cultural Olympiad Ruth Mackenzie, choreographer Arlene Phillips and producer Nica Burns (pictured) were among the stars of the arts world to receive honours in the Queen’s 2013 New Year’s list.

Mackenzie, who receives a CBE, was one of many recipients to be honoured for their work to make the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the world-leading success it was, while former Strictly Come Dancing judge Phillips, who has choreographed West End shows including Starlight Express, We Will Rock You and Midnight Tango, receives the same honour for services to dance and charity.

Burns, the former President of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and Chief Executive of Nimax Theatres Ltd, which owns six West End venues, receives an OBE for her services to theatre, as does Michael Billington, The Guardian’s much-respected theatre critic.

Actor Adrian Lester, who returned to the London stage to much acclaim this year when he starred in Red Velvet at the Tricycle theatre, is given the OBE for services to drama, as is the star of Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge and, on stage, Guys And Dolls and Othello, Ewan McGregor. Erica Whyman, who left Northern Stage earlier this year to join the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) as Gregory Doran’s Deputy Artistic Director also receives the OBE, for services to theatre in the UK.

A host of female arts leaders collect MBEs as part of the honours list, with Ovalhouse Director Deborah Bestwick, Talawa Theatre Company Artistic Director Patricia Cumper, Travelling Light General Manager Catherine Greig and Ballet Black Founder and Artistic Director Cassa Pancho all making room in their diaries to make a trip to Buckingham Palace. Scottish actress Siobhan Redmond, whose work has worked with the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and RSC, receives the honour for her services to drama, as does fellow performer Caroline Parker, who appeared in the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, who is honoured for services to deaf theatre and drama.