Olivier Awards 2022 - special recognition awards - presented by the Duchess of Cornwall

Olivier Awards 2022 winners announced for the Special Recognition Awards category; Duchess of Cornwall presents awards

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) has announced the winners of its Special Recognition Awards, part of this year’s Olivier Awards 2022.

Nominations for the 2022 Olivier Awards were announced in March, with CabaretLife of Pi and Anything Goes scooping the most nominations. The Olivier Awards take place on Sunday 10 April at the Royal Albert Hall, hosted by Jason Manford.

The Special Recognition Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the theatre industry from five individuals, and the winners are Lisa Burger, Bob King, Gloria Louis, Susie Sainsbury and Sylvia Young.

On 5 April 2022, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall presented the five winners with their awards (see main picture) at a special ceremony at Clarence House in London.

Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre for the past 20 years, has been awarded for her role in expanding the theatre’s reach, forging partnerships UK-wide and playing a key part in the industry’s pandemic recovery through initiatives like NT At Home. Lisa was also recently recognised in the new year’s honours list, awarded a CBE for Services to the Arts.

Designer Bob King, who worked at Dewynters theatre marketing and advertising agency for over 30 years and now runs his own design company, receives an award for creating some of theatre’s most iconic and recognisable theatre posters and visuals over his 40 year career. His work includes poster art for Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! and Mary Poppins; plus hit West End shows Back To The Future, Frozen, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical more.

Gloria Louis is awarded for her trailblazing career, which began front of house at the Strand Theatre (now the Novello Theatre), progressed into theatre management and now in the role of inclusion and diversity lead for Delfont Mackintosh Theatres. SOLT said that Louis is “using her knowledge, passion and dedication to inspire young people from all backgrounds about theatre careers”.

Olivier Awards 2022 Special Recognition Awards
Olivier Awards 2022 Special Recognition Awards

Susie Sainsbury is recognised for her long-time philanthropy and support of the arts, which SOLT said has “made a significant difference to theatre in London and beyond”. Sainsbury founded The Backstage Trust to fund live arts projects and was also instrumental in the creation of the Theatre Artists Fund during the pandemic.

Sylvia Young has been recognised for creating and running her Influential theatre schools, giving thousands of students opportunities to study performing arts and go on to prolific careers in theatre, film and TV, since she first started teaching in 1972.

Outgoing Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre, Julian Bird, who is also Executive Producer of the Olivier Awards, told the press that: “The Special Recognition Olivier Awards shine a spotlight on inspirational individuals doing vital work, often behind the scenes, who have been a force for good and helped shape our industry in a wide range of ways. The five people we are honouring this year have all inspired generations of colleagues and theatre audiences, been pioneers in their fields and are hugely deserving of this long-due recognition. It is a privilege to celebrate their achievements as part of this year’s Olivier Awards.”

Also see: Olivier Awards 2022 – what we know so far

This article was originally published 25 March 2022; updated 6 April 2022 with news of the awards presentation


📷 Main photo: Olivier Awards 2022 - special recognition awards - presented by the Duchess of Cornwall

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