New Year Honours for British actresses

Dame Angela Lansbury: the actress is recognised in 2014's New Year Honours (Credit: Featureflash)

Dame Angela Lansbury: the actress is recognised in 2014’s New Year Honours (Credit: Featureflash)

The Queen’s 2014 New Year Honours list has recognised and celebrated some of the country’s leading acting and theatre talent: theatre, film and television actress Angela Lansbury is to become a Dame of the British Empire for her services to drama, charitable work and philanthropy. Bafta and Olivier Award winner Penelope Keith will receive the same honour for her services to the arts and charity, as will choreographer Gillian Lynne, director of more than 50 shows in the West End, on Broadway and on tour, for her services to dance and musical theatre.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, a collaborator of Gillian Lynne’s on productions such as Cats and Phantom of the Opera, said that he was ‘thrilled that the grand lady of British musical theatre has got the recognition she deserves.’

Accolades for women in the arts continues: Canadian-born stage and television actress Lynda Bellingham is to be awarded an OBE for voluntary service to charitable giving in the UK. Actress and writer of Gavin and Stacey, Ruth Jones, will receive an MBE.

There were also a few notable male honours in this year’s selection, including CBEs for television actor Michael Crawford and former Royal Court artistic director Dominic Cooke, as well as a knighthood for Michael Codron, the owner of London’s Aldwych Theatre, for his services to theatre.

New part-time performing arts school launched by actress in London

360 ArtsActress Simone Lahbib has launched a new part-time performing arts school in North Finchley, London, offering children of ages three and up classes in dance, acting, singing and musical theatre.

360 Arts opened on 8 September, with Lahbib as principal. She has described 360 Arts as, ‘a vibrant, exciting environment, boasting some of London’s best teachers for singing, dancing and acting.’

She also spoke of the resources available: ‘Lovely, bright studios, regular visits from industry professionals, and an affiliated agency, Daisy and Dukes.’

As well as performing arts classes, 360 Arts will also host workshops from industry professionals in production areas such as stage management, script writing and producing.

Details of the school and workshops on offer are available at www.360arts.co.uk.