At London’s historic Guildhall yesterday, Sunday 18th October, 2015 Matthew Bourne received The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre at the 2015 UK Theatre Awards.
In his acceptance speech, Matthew said ‘I had always hoped that there could be a huge, popular, audience out there for large-scale narrative dance, outside of a couple of Grand Opera Houses in London and our bigger cities and the way to reach that audience was to create accessible, welcoming work that still remained questioning and challenging. This dream could not have been achieved without all those Venue Managers, Artistic Directors and Programmers throughout the UK, who, over the last 20 years, have taken the gamble of presenting New Adventures style of Contemporary Dance Theatre, and who have helped to create and develop a whole new and unprecedented audience for dance that has exceeded any of our expectations.
My company, New Adventures and my charity, ReBourne, is made up of the most extraordinary group of dedicated, highly skilled, passionate and downright gorgeous people. It’s a very small organisation that takes on a workload that most bigger organisations would find daunting. I am grateful every day for what they do and how they do it.
Running your own company and producing the work that you want to make is a privilege that I am forever mindful of and grateful for. For as long as I can remember this has been my dream, and, god willing, I have a few more shows in me yet and a few more audiences to entertain!”
Rachel Tackley, President of UK Theatre, said: “I am a huge fan of Matthew Bourne’s work which has been inspiring and thrilling audiences all over the UK and around the world for many years. I am delighted that his incredible contribution to our industry has been honoured at this year’s award ceremony. I can’t wait to see what he has planned next.”
Hugh Comerford, managing director at The Stage, said: “Matthew Bourne has been a leading light of the UK theatre and dance scene for the best part of 30 years. Through his work with Adventures in Motion Pictures and New Adventures he has created an unmatched repertoire and has helped to popularise contemporary dance and dance theatre in London, across the UK and around the world. He is a hugely deserving recipient of this award.”
Matthew Bourne is widely recognised as one of the UK’s most popular and successful choreographers and directors. Bourne is a five-time Olivier Award winner; the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production and the only British director to have won Tony Awards for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical. Bourne founded the award-winning Adventures in Motion Pictures in 1987. In 2002 Bourne launched New Adventures, one of the UK’s busiest and most successful dance companies, and a major exporter of British dance across the world. In recent years Bourne has also established Re:Bourne, a charity that inspires young people with a passion for dance, and the New Adventures Choreographer Award, which showcases emerging choreographic talent. In 2013 he was awarded the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. As a West End and Broadway choreographer, Bourne’s work with producer Cameron Mackintosh has also resulted in the musical hits Mary Poppins, Oliver! and My Fair Lady.
The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off stage.