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Binkie Beaumont

July 30, 2010 

27 March 1908 – 22 March 1973

Hugh Beaumont, famously known as Binkie Beaumont, was one of the most powerful West End theatre managers of his, or any other, generation.

Binkie Beaumont, Angela Baddeley and Emlyn Williams, in a portrait by Angus McBean.

Binkie Beaumont, Angela Baddeley and Emlyn Williams, in a portrait by Angus McBean. © The President and Fellows of Harvard College

As co-founder and managing director of play producers H.M. Tennent Ltd, he controlled much of the West End for forty years. He was famously very publicity shy, avoiding his picture being in the papers and leaving scant details about his parents, upbringing, education or even his real name.

He worked out of a small office above the Gielgud Theatre (then the Globe Theatre) on Shaftesbury Avenue and at one time was running a staggering fourteen productions at the same time in London. From 1936 to 1973 the company produced over 400 plays, musicals and revues, covering every aspect of British theatre from big musicals such as My Fair Lady to the edgy new work of Joe Orton.

He touched the lives of many of the most famous writers and actors of the Twentieth Century, forming close working relationships with people such as Noel Coward, Terence Rattigan, Emlyn Williams, Cecil Beaton, John Gielgud, Vivien Leigh, Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and Edith Evans.

For much of his time in the West End, he was assisted by the efforts of H.M. Tennent’s talented press agent Vivienne “No News Is Good News” Byerley (1906-1995, obituary).


Binkie Beaumont: Eminence Grise of the West End Theatre, 1933-73 (Richard Huggett)

Angus McBean Portraits (Terence Pepper)

Upper Circle: A Theatrical Chronicle (Kitty Black)

OLIVIER AWARDS – Special and Outstanding Achievement Award Winners

June 3, 2010 

OLIVIER AWARDS – Special and Outstanding Achievement Award Winners

The Society’s Special Award

2012 Monica Mason and Tim Rice
2011 Stephen Sondheim
2010 Maggie Smith
2009 Sir Alan Ayckbourn
2008 Andrew Lloyd Webber
2007 John Tomlinson
2006 Sir Ian McKellen
2005 Alan Bennett
2004 Dame Judi Dench
2003 Sam Mendes
2002 Rupert Rhymes
1999 Sir Peter Hall
1998 Ed and David Mirvish
1997 Margaret Harris
1996 Harold Pinter
1994 Sam Wanamaker
1993 Sir Kenneth MacMillan
1992 Dame Ninette de Valois
1991 Dame Peggy Ashcroft
1988 Sir Alec Guinness
1985 Sir John Gielgud
1984 Lord Goodman
1983 Joan Littlewood
1982 Charles Wintour
1980 Sir Ralph Richardson
1979 Lord Olivier

Outstanding Achievement

2010 Michael Codron
2003 Gregory Doran and the Jacobean Season acting ensemble
2002 Trevor Nunn
2000 Peter O’Toole
1997 Sir Richard Eyre

The Observer Award for Outstanding Achievement (In Memory of Kenneth Tynan)

1993 The Almeida, Islington for The Rules of the Game, Medea, No Man’s Land and The Deep Blue Sea
1992 The Gate Theatre, Notting Hill for A Season of Classics from The Spanish Golden Age
1991 Cameron Mackintosh
1989/90 Declan Donnellan for Fuente Ovejuna
1988 Maly Theatre of Leningrad for Stars in the Morning Sky
1987 Thelma Holt for producing the International Festival at the National Theatre
1986 The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith for The House of Bernarda Alba
1985 Anthony Hopkins for Pravda

The Times Award

1994 Peter Brook

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