Sir Kenneth Branagh to receive Special Award at this year's Oliviers
Published: 02 March 2017
RADA President and graduate Sir Kenneth Branagh will be given the Special Award at this year's Olivier Awards, for his outstanding contribution to British theatre, while three other alumni are nominated in the acting categories.
Since graduating from RADA in 1981, and winning the Olivier Award for Best Newcomer in 1982, Branagh's career has spanned stage and screen, as a performer, director, producer and screenwriter, from Shakespeare's Henry V and Hamlet to Marvel Studios's Thor, which he directed in 2011. In October 2015 Branagh Theatre company was launched, presenting a year-long season of shows at the West End's Garrick Theatre and featuring many RADA alumni. Most recently, Branagh has worked on film projects including Dunkirk (due for release in July 2017) and his new adaptation of Murder On The Orient Express (due for release in November 2017).
In October 2016, RADA appointed Branagh as its president, following the death of Lord Richard Attenborough in 2014. It is the second special recognition award for Branagh in recent months, as he also received the Lebedev Award at November's Evening Standard Awards in recognition of the inaugural Branagh Theatre season. The award was presented by fellow RADA alumnus Tom Hiddleston.
In the nominations, three RADA alumni are in the running for acting awards. Glenda Jackson is nominated for Best Actress for her acclaimed stage comeback in the title role of King Lear at the Old Vic; Jamie Parker is nominated for Best Actor for his title role as the now grown-up boy wizard in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which has 11 nominations in total (the record for a play); and Kate O'Flynn is up for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Laura in The Glass Menagerie.
Also nominated is Nice Fish, which was written and starred RADA alumnus Sir Mark Rylance, which is in the running for Best New Comedy.
The Olivier Awards 2017 will take place on Sunday 9 April. Click here for the full list of nominees.
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