Elton John, Sam Mendes, Christopher Hampton, Natasha Gordon, James Graham, Giles Terera and Stephen Mear are among the list of theatre and showbusiness luminaries who feature in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Sir Elton, who was knighted more than 20 years ago, becomes a Companion of Honour. In addition to his lengthy music career, he has been responsible for composing shows including The Lion King and Billy Elliot – plus the forthcoming The Devil Wears Prada.
One time Donmar Warehouse artistic director Mendes (and now well-known for his success with the James Bond franchise) tops the list of showbusiness and theatre knights. These include playwright Hampton (The Son, A German Life), former Birmingham Royal Ballet director David Bintley, director Steve McQueen and presenter Humphrey Burton.
Natasha Gordon, who made history as the first black British female playwright to have her play (Nine Night) presented on the West End stage, becomes an MBE, as does the very same play’s director Roy Alexander Weise who is now co-artistic director at Manchester Royal Exchange.
Ever popular singer and actress Olivia Newton-John becomes one of two Dames from the performing arts, joining presenter Floella Benjamin.
CBEs include choreographers Stephen Mear, Shobana Jeyasingh and Kate Flatt, plus actors Rudolph Walker and Wendy Craig.
Among the OBEs are: playwright James Graham (Ink, Brexit: The Uncivil War), Queen’s Roger Taylor, Equity president Maureen Beattie, Pentameters Theatre Hampstead’s Leonie Scott Matthews, Stopgap Dance Company’s David Toole, Trinity Laban’s Mirella Bartrip and mezzo-soprano/composer Judith Bingham.
MBEs include: theatre director Mark Everett, Paines Plough joint artistic directors George Perrin and James Grieve, actor Giles Terera (who won an Olivier Award for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton), veteran actor Derek Griffiths and Ballet Rambert’s Judith Palmer.