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MBE for Nottingham Playhouse’s Stephanie

Published: 1 June 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Really honoured”: Stephanie Sirr MBE

Stephanie Sirr, chief executive of Nottingham Playhouse and president of UK Theatre, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the arts.

She has been chief executive of Nottingham Playhouse since 2001. Before that, she ran Blackpool Grand Theatre for five years and the Merlin Theatre in Frome, Somerset for two. She has also programmed several theatres including Sadler’s Wells and the Hackney Empire.

She was an actress for five years, a stage manager for two and has been a theatre critic, court reporter and comedy club commere.

Sirr said, “I’m really honoured to receive an MBE. It underlines how fortunate I’ve been to work alongside some really brilliant people over many years. This has enabled some transformative creative work to happen in and for the many communities I have been privileged to serve.”

The Playhouse’s artistic director Adam Penford commented, “Stephanie's contribution to Nottingham Playhouse and the arts and cultural sector over the years has been immense. She steered the ship through the pandemic with dedication and fortitude.

“A keen champion of diversity and young people in particular, she has had a big impact on increasing opportunities and ensuring the industry is a more representative place.”

Playhouse chair Amanda Farr added, “this is a richly deserved award. During her tenure at Nottingham Playhouse, Stephanie has helped establish its reputation as a major producing house regionally, nationally and internationally.

“She has contributed in numerous roles to the city of Nottingham visitor economy and supported the role of theatre professionals nationally as the current president of UK Theatre.”