Actors Charles Dance and Rudolph Walker, actor/director Josette Bushell-Mingo and director Deborah Warner are amongst the theatre names singled out for their services to the arts as part of the annual Queen's Birthday Honours list, announced this past weekend.

Charles Dance (pictured), aged 59, is appointed an OBE. His most recent London stage credits include Good at the Donmar Warehouse and Long Day’s Journey into Night in the West End as well as last year’s rehearsed reading of Harold Pinter’s Celebration in honour of the playwright’s Nobel Prize win. Dance is best known internationally for his screen credits such as Jewel in the Crown, Bleak House, To the Ends of the Earth, Plenty, White Mischief and Gosford Park.

Also receiving an OBE, 66-year-old Rudolph Walker’s stage credits include The Iceman Cometh at the Almeida and Old Vic, Electra at Chichester Festival and the Donmar Warehouse, and The Tempest at the Young Vic. On television, he made history in 1972 by becoming the first black actor to be cast as the lead in a TV series (Love Thy Neighbour) and has since appeared regularly in other programmes including EastEnders.

Josette Bushell-Mingo, 42, has also been appointed an OBE. As an actor, she has spent seasons with the Young Vic, the RSC and the National and in 1999 originated the role of Rafiki in the West End production of Disney’s The Lion King, for which she was Olivier-nominated. In 2001, she co-founded Push, a multi-disciplinary Black-led arts organisation which, in 2004, presented a three-week festival of Black-led performing arts. Her other directorial credits include The Birds, Mother Courage and Her Children and the Langston Hughes musical Simply Heavenly, which transferred to the West End after its initial run at the Young Vic.

Director Deborah Warner, 47, has been made a CBE. A former associate director at the National and resident director with the RSC, Warner’s stage credits include Medea, The Power Book, Julius Caesar and The Waste Land, all featuring actress Fiona Shaw. Warner won Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Director for Titus Andronicus (1988) and Hedda Gabler (1992).

- by Terri Paddock