Theatre News

New Year's Honours: Vanessa Redgrave, Joanna Lumley, Daniel Craig, Nitin Ganatra and more recognised

A couple more dames for the performing arts world

Five recipients of this year's honours
Five recipients of this year's honours
© From left: First three – Dan Wooller, DC: The Royal Navy, OGL 3 <>, via Wiki

The New Year's Honours have been revealed.

Veteran performer Vanessa Redgrave (The Inheritance) has been made Dame, as has actor and screen legend Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous). Alistair Spalding, artistic director and chief executive of Sadler's Wells Theatre, has been knighted.

Actor Daniel Craig, set to appear on Broadway in Macbeth next year, was made a CMG, the same honour held by fictional character James Bond, who Craig has portrayed over the last decade and a half. James Bond writer Michael Gregg Wilson and producer Barbara Broccoli, (who is also overseeing Macbeth), were both made CBE.

Outgoing National Theatre executive director Lisa Burger was made CBE, as was Adrian Vinken, longstanding executive director of Theatre Royal Plymouth, who is departing after 31 years at the venue. Film director Paul Greengrass was also made CBE. Opera Rara chair and former DCMS board member Charles Alexander was made CBE, as was former Scottish Ballet chairman Norman Murray.

Singer, actor and writer Pauline Black was made OBE, as was EastEnders legend June Brown. Philippa Charles of the Garfield Weston Foundation was made OBE.

Award-winning stage designer Lez Brotherston and Carol Lake of the Cultural Recovery Fund were both made OBE, while artistic director and founder of Rifco Pravesh Kumar was made MBE. Performer Nitin Ganatra was made OBE for services to drama, as was William Roache, who played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street. Songwriter Bernie Taupin, who worked extensively with Elton John, was made CBE.

Brotherston is an associate at award-winning company New Adventures, with artistic director Matthew Bourne saying today: ""Sending enormous congratulations to Lez on this much deserved honour, from the entire New Adventures family. As my foremost collaborator, Lez's contribution to the success of New Adventures is incalculable and much loved and admired across our industry.

"His particular contribution to dance design is unprecedented from his collaborations with Northern Ballet (under Christopher Gable) and Scottish Ballet (under Christopher Hampson) being especially significant. However, I'm proud to say that his longest association is the role he has had in shaping what many would recognise as the New Adventures "style" – our repertory of works is synonymous with the genius of Lez Brotherston – and today we celebrate a great man of contemporary theatre receiving the recognition that he so richly deserves."

Another Coronation Street star, Cherylee Houston, was made MBE for services to drama and to people with disabilities. Rosalind Paul of Scene and Heard was made MBE, as was Ramps on the Moon director for change Michèle Louise Alma Taylor. Jacqueline O'Hanlon, the RSC's director of learning, was also made MBE.

Diversity performer Ashley Banjo was made MBE, as was dance photographer Christopher Nash and English National Opera board secretary John Cooke. Alpesh Chauhan, music director for Birmingham Opera Company, was given the same honour. Maureen Dunn was made MBE for services to drama in Northern Ireland.

Anthony Keith Holdon, company manager and artistic director of the Misfits Theatre Company was given a medal of the order of the British Empire for services to adults with learning disabilities.

Sign up for our newsletter for more