Acclaimed actor and director Kenneth Branagh will be presented with the Special Award at the Olivier Awards 2017 with Mastercard ceremony on Sunday 9 April at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The award will be presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British theatre.
Awarded Best Newcomer by the Olivier Awards in 1982, Branagh’s career has since spanned stage, film and television where he has received acclaim as both an actor and director. His stage acting credits include Another Country, Henry V, Golden Girls, three productions of Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet (also directed), Public Enemy, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Look Back in Anger, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also directed), King Lear (also directed), Coriolanus, Richard III, Edmond, Ivanov, The Painkiller and Macbeth (also co- directed). The plays he has directed also include John Sessions’ The Life of Napoleon and Napoleon – The American Story, Twelfth Night, Uncle Vanya, The Play What I Wrote, and Ducktastic.
Most recently the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company put on its inaugural West End season with Plays at the Garrick. The 2016 season comprised seven plays, received eight Olivier Award nominations and three productions – The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer – were seen in cinemas across the world by over 430,000 people.
In November at the Evening Standard Awards (pictured), Branagh also received the special Lebedev Award for this year-long Plays at the Garrick season. The award was presented to him by Tom Hiddleston.
Past recipients of the Oliviers’ Special Award include Kevin Spacey, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.
Caro Newling, President of the Society of London Theatre, said:
“The Society of London Theatre is delighted to formally celebrate Kenneth Branagh’s outstanding contribution to London theatre. Whether acting or directing, there is no greater advocate for our industry”.
The Society of London Theatre, organisers of the Olivier Awards, will also be presenting four highly-respected industry figures: Victor and Lilian Hochhauser (joint recipients), Richard Bullimore and Frank Dunlop with Special Recognition Awards during the Nominees Celebration on Friday 10 March 2017 at Rosewood London.
As announced earlier, nominations for the Olivier Awards will be live-streamed at 12 noon on Monday 6 March via Facebook – and carried here on MyTheatreMates. The announcement will be hosted by Denise Gough (Best Actress In A Play 2016) and Matt Henry (Best Actor In A Musical 2016).