Anna Massey, Tom Wilkinson and Ray Cooney Honored By Queen

News   Anna Massey, Tom Wilkinson and Ray Cooney Honored By Queen
It’s that time of year again, when the Queen’s advisers draw up her New Year’s Honours List and liberally scatter some among the theatrical fraternity. This year saw some long-neglected names get recognized.

Simon McBurney, the founder-director of Complicite, was given an OBE. Philip Hedley, the loyal artistic director of the Theatre Royal, Stratford East for a quarter of a century (he resigned at the end of 2004), was allotted a CBE. Jill Fraser, who runs the tiny but much-respected (West End transfers include Edward Hall’s production of Rose Rage and, more recently, Sweeney Todd) Watermill Theatre in Newbury, got an MBE. Playwrights were also on the list. Alan Plater, whose last London outing was with Peggy For You (about the famous and influential theatrical agent Peggy Ramsay), was made a CBE. Ray Cooney, writer of some vastly successful farces such as Run For Your Wife!, was given an OBE.

One of Cooney’s stars was Eric Sykes, who featured in his Caught in the Net. At 81, and still working, he has been given a CBE.

Tom Wilkinson, more frequently seen in films such as “The Full Monty” and “Shakespeare In Love,” but a fairly regular stage actor (turns include The Crucible at the National and David Hare’s My Zinc Bed at the Royal Court) got an OBE. As did Geoffrey Palmer, also a stage veteran but best known for his screen work — and a working partnership with Judi Dench, which encompasses “James Bond” and their TV sitcom “As Time Goes By” (soon to be revived). Matching Sykes in the age stakes, the 81-year-old actor Hugh Lloyd got an MBE.

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