Matthew Bourne has been announced as the recipient of this year’s Special Award at the Olivier Awards 2019.

Considered by many as one of the UK’s most successful living choreographer and director’s, Bourne is recognised for his achievements in dance over the last thirty years.

The Special Award will be Bourne’s eighth Olivier Award, making him joint holder of the most ever Olivier Awards, alongside Judi Dench.

Highlights from Bourne’s exceptional career include productions of his all-male Swan Lake, Cinderella, The Car Man and choreography on Cameron Mackintosh’s productions of Oliver! and My Fair Lady, the National Theatre’s revival of South Pacific, and the 2004 production of Mary Poppins (with Stephen Mear), which returns to the West End later this year.

Awarded the OBE for Services to Dance in 2001, Bourne was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2016 for services to dance, and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award in recognition of his outstanding services to the art of ballet.

Kenny Wax, President of the Society of London Theatre, said:

The Society of London Theatre is delighted to acknowledge Matthew Bourne’s extraordinary achievements in dance with this year’s Special Olivier Award.’  Wax added ‘Matthew has transformed the landscape of dance in this country and across the globe with his bold, innovative and popular work, loved by audiences around the world.

Past recipients of the Special Award include Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.

Nominations for the 2019 Olivier Awards will be announced on 5 March 2019 and the awards ceremony announcing the winners will be held on 7 April 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall, London.