Warwickshire theatre salwart honoured at London ceremony

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A Warwickshire champion of the dramatic arts has been recognised by the The Olivier Awards with Mastercard, the UK’s most prestigious stage honours.

Mark Thorburn has dedicated much of his life whether at work or in his leisure time to the theatre and has been announced as one of the six inaugural ‘Be Inspired Champions’.

Rubbing shoulders with stars of London’s West End the champions will attend a ceremony on Sunday (9 April) and be presented with a plaque during the awards’ Facebook Live red carpet broadcast.

Nominated by his wife, Sandy, Mark was named a champion beating 150 others, after she wrote a 250 word explanation praising his commitment to all things theatre.

She said: “Mark has loved theatre since his first panto on Christmas Eve 1959 - he lives and breathes it, sharing his passion in many forms.

“Amateur acting from 14-years-old, evolved into direction, with both youth and adults; Twenty years as a teacher creating annual productions and organising theatre trips; Fifteen years as Artistic Director of Coventry Youth Operetta Group which took 100 children in two musicals a year, on a journey of musical pleasure and theatrical and personal development, production budgets growing from £650 to £40k.”

She added: “His commitment to achieving the best, instilling life-lessons which has inspired so many to continue their love of theatre as a hobby and professionally.

“His pride in their achievements continuing as he supports their performances today.”

Mark’s impressive work has also been Chief Executive of NODA, championing amateur theatre countrywide, bringing thousands together for the 1999 Centenary celebrations and has compiled and edited Amateur Stage magazine, worked for a pantomime production company, directing five pro-pantos.

Mark will receive his award at the Royal Albert Hall.