In a press statement, Rachel Tackley — president of event organizers, the Theatrical Management Association (TMA) — commented, "I am delighted that the TMA has recognised the prolific work of Simon, who has had a vital and lasting influence on theatre stages all over the country and been a great ambassador for British Theatre during a long and illustrious career."
He has worked on the British stage as actor, director and writer, appearing extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, at the Royal Court, in the West End and in productions all over the U.K. He is about to embark on a nationwide tour of Chin-Chin with Felicity Kendal. He has performed in a number of one-man plays including The Importance of Being Oscar, Being Shakespeare and, most recently, Inside Wagner's Head at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio. His show The Mystery of Charles Dickens played a Broadway season in 2002.
He has directed over 30 productions, including Carmen Jones at the Old Vic, the West End and Broadway productions of Willy Russell's Shirley Valentine and Single Spies at the National Theatre.
Michael Xavier will host this year's Awards, which will include performances from Janie Dee and Frances Ruffelle, and appearances from guest presenters Louise Dearman, Shaun Escoffery, Paul Michael Glaser, Katherine Kingsley, Maureen Lipman, Hattie Morahan, Ben Richards and Ed Watson, amongst others.