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Queen's Birthday Honours: Damian Lewis, Etta Murfitt and more recognised

The awards are dished out twice a year

Damian Lewis
© Dan Wooller

This year's Birthday Honours have been revealed, and we've gone through the 147-page list to see who from the theatre world has been recognised.

Actor Damian Lewis was made CBE for his services to performance and charity (Lewis and his late wife Helen McCrory raised over £1 million for charities during the pandemic).

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, was also made OBE, as was Catherine Mallyon, current executive director of the RSC. The same award went to Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, and also to Arts Council England council member Elisabeth Murdoch.

Jennifer Sealey, pioneer of theatre company Graeae, was made OBE, as was Call the Midwife writer and playwright Heidi Thomas. Deborah Williams, executive director at Creative Diversity Network was given the same honour, as was New Adventures' group managing director and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd's deputy managing director Robert Noble.

Former Arts Council of Wales chief executive Nick Capaldi was made OBE, as was Dave Moutrey, director and chief executive of HOME in Manchester, and choreographer Rosemary Lee.

MBEs were awarded to producer Francesca Moody (Fleabag), Nottingham Playhouse's chief executive Stephanie Sirr and Etta Murfitt, New Adventures' associate artistic director.

Artistic director of New Adventures Matthew Bourne said today: "Quite simply, there would be no New Adventures without Robert Noble and Etta Murfitt! They are central to the success of the company and its growth into the UK's most popular dance company and Britain's biggest dance export internationally. Their work in developing new audiences for dance and inspiring new talent in our sector is unparalleled.

"Everyone in the New Adventures family will be delighted and thankful to see them recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list today, none so more than I. As work partners they are second to none, but as dear friends they are treasured even more."

Sirr said: "I am really honoured to receive an MBE. It underlines how fortunate I have been to work alongside some really brilliant people over many years. This has enabled some transformative creative work to happen in and for the many communities I have been privileged to serve."

British rapper, record producer, actor, writer and film director Rapman was made MBE, as were performers Pauline Quirke and Helen Worth. Zoe Golding of Zoielogic and Linda Watson of Youth Connection Theatre were given the same award.

MEBs were given to composer, arranger and conductor Nigel Brooks, as well as Henry Filloux-Bennett, who is currently artistic director and chief executive of the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and soon to join HOME.

Elsewhere, illustrator Quentin Blake (Matilda) was admitted to the Order of the Companions of Honour, as was writer Salman Rushdie.

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