By Mark Shenton
29 Dec 2012
Adrian Lester, recently seen on the London stage in Red Velvet at the Tricycle Theatre, and Ewan McGregor, whose stage credits have included playing Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2005, have both received OBE's (Order of the British Empire).
Arlene Phillips, whose stage credits include Starlight Express (currently touring the U.K.), We Will Rock You and The Wizard of Oz (now in Toronto), has received a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for "services to dance and charity."
Theatre critic Michael Billington, who has been theatre critic for The Guardian for over 40 years, is to receive an OBE for services to the theatre. In a news report in The Guardian itself, he stated, "I'm glad for the Guardian. Also, it is the 100th anniversary of the Critics' Circle this year, so I believe it is recognition not of me but of the need for critics and the continuity of criticism."
Other theatre-related figures to receive awards include long-time arts administrator Ruth Mackenzie, a former co-artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre who was the director of the recent Cultural Olympiad, who received a CBE; theatre producer and theatre co-owner Nica Burns (chief executive of Nimax), Erica Whyman (artistic director of Northern Stage who is soon to join the RSC as deputy artistic director), and Patricia Myers, registrar at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), who all receive OBE's. Vincent Hayes, who runs the Brick Lane Music Hall in East London, receives an MBE.