Theatre News

JK Rowling, Julie Walters and David Walliams recognised in Queen's birthday honours

Cheek by Jowl’s Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod have also been recognised

© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

This year's Queen's birthday honours list has been announced, with honours for author JK Rowling and director Declan Donnellan.

Rowling, who is already an OBE, has been made a Companion of Honour for services to literature and
philanthropy. The eighth story in her Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, opened at the Palace Theatre last summer, and she has sold over 450 million Potter books worldwide. She joins the likes of Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench as a Companion of Honour, which is awarded for service of conspicuous national importance. Paul McCartney and Delia Smith have also been made Companions of Honour in this year's list.

Billy Connolly has been made a knight for services to entertainment and to charity, whilst actresses Julie Walters, June Whitfield and 100-year old Olivia de Havilland have been made dames. David Walliams and Sarah Lancashire have both received OBEs.

Donnellan and Nick Ormerod have both been awarded OBEs for services to theatre and theatre design respectively. The pair founded theatre company Cheek by Jowl in 1981 and the company has since gone on to tour 390 cities in over 50 countries. The company's most recent English production was The Winter's Tale, which ran at the Barbican in April.

Canadian opera singer Gerald Hunter Finley has been awarded a CBE for services to opera, and Chris Elwell, director of young people’s theatre company Half Moon, has become a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire.

Composer George Benjamin, who has written operas including Into The Little Hill and Written on Skin, has been awarded a knighthood.