Two individuals have been honoured in the ‘Special Awards’ category of the Olivier Awards with Mastercard 2023, recognising their outstanding contributions to the theatre industry.
Dame Arlene Phillips has been awarded this year’s ‘Special Award’.
Arlene is a world-renowned choreographer and theatre director, honoured as a DBE for her services to dance and charity for over 45 years. Previously nominated for two Olivier Awards in the ‘Best Theatre Choreographer’ category, she is recognised for her considerable involvement with shows such as Starlight Express, Grease and Saturday Night Fever.
Arlene has also choreographed for high profile music videos (Whitney Houston, Elton John, Queen) and films (Annie, Ridley Scott’s Legend, Monty Python). She has been widely celebrated for her work on television, including her time as a judge on talent competitions Strictly Come Dancing, and So You Think You Can Dance, and as an events choreographer (BRIT Awards, The Royal Variety Show, Children in Need).
Sir Derek Jacobi receives this year’s ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his remarkable 60-year career on stage and screen.
Derek has garnered critical acclaim over his distinguished career and been the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Olivier Awards (Cyrano de Bergerac and Twelfth Night). He is also one of the founding members of the National Theatre, enlisted by Laurence Olivier himself. In 1994, Derek was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to theatre.
His lengthy career has known no bounds, from his famous affiliation with Shakespeare both in film and theatre (Hamlet, Romeo And Juliet, King Lear), to his notable roles on the small screen (Last Tango In Halifax, The Crown, Vicious). His other noteworthy cinema appearances include Gladiator, The Kings Speech and Murder On The Orient Express.