The Olivier Awards with Mastercard has announced that Kenneth Branagh will be presented with the Special Award at this year’s ceremony. Past recipients of the Special Award include Kevin Spacey, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.
Awarded Best Newcomer by the Olivier Awards in 1982, his career has since spanned stage, film and television where he has received acclaim as both an actor and director. Widely recognised as one of the great Shakespearian actors, his stage credits include: Henry V, three productions of Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Coriolanus, Richard III and Macbeth.
Most recently the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company put on its inaugural West End season with Plays at the Garrick. The 2016 season comprised seven plays, received eight Olivier Award nominations and three productions – The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer - were seen in cinemas across the world by over 430,000 people.
Caro Newling, President of the Society of London Theatre who organise the awards, said: “The Society of London Theatre is delighted to formally celebrate Kenneth Branagh’s outstanding contribution to London theatre. Whether acting or directing, there is no greater advocate for our industry”.
Nominations for the Olivier Awards with Mastercard will be live-streamed at 12 noon on Monday 6 March. The announcement will be hosted by Denise Gough (Best Actress In A Play 2016) and Matt Henry (Best Actor In A Musical 2016).