Pragnell Award Winner 2023: Gregory Doran

The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award celebrates individuals who have significantly furthered society’s understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the Bard’s work. Previous winners including Sir Kenneth Branagh and Sir Patrick Stewart.

Pragnell is excited to reveal that this year’s winner of The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award is Gregory Doran, Artist Director Emeritus of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Introduced in 1990, the Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award celebrates individuals who have significantly furthered our understanding, knowledge and love for the Bard’s work.

Each year, the recipient is chosen by a committee of representatives from The Shakespeare Institute, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Gregory Doran Quote - RSC Artistic Director Emeritus & 2023 Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award Winner

“Donald Sinden once said, “Man cannot live by Bard alone”, but I seem to have done pretty much that. So it is very rewarding to find I have been given a prize for doing so.”

“I am very grateful to the Pragnell Family for their support of this endeavour and delighted to accept such a prestigious award.”

Gregory has been described as “one of the great Shakespearians of his generation” [The Sunday Times]. He was officially appointed as the RSC's Artistic Director on 14 September 2012 and took up the reins in earnest in January 2013, presiding over a decade of outstanding productions.

The presentation of this year’s award will coincide with Gregory’s 50th production for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Cymbeline, which opens in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on the day of the award presentation.

Pragnell Shakespeare Award

The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award is an international award funded by Pragnell the Jeweller of Stratford-upon-Avon.

It is presented annually on the occasion of the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations luncheon in Stratford-upon-Avon. The award recognises 'outstanding achievement in extending the appreciation and enjoyment of the works of William Shakespeare and in the general advancement of Shakespearian knowledge and understanding'.

Pragnell Shakespeare Award Roll of Honour

1990 Dame Peggy Ashcroft

1991 Terry Hands

1992 Professor Muriel Bradbrook

1993 Peter Brook

1994 Barbara Jefford

1995 Tanya Moiseiwitsch

1996 Sir Ian McKellen

In 1997 the Award took the form of a tribute to the Flower family

1998 Sir Peter Hall

1999 Paul Scofield

2000 Dame Judi Dench

2001 John Barton

2002 The Folger Shakespeare Library

2003 Professor Stanley Wells

2004 Cicely Berry

2005 Corin Redgrave

2006 Sir Donald Sinden

2007 Harriet Walter

2008 Michael Boyd

2009 Michael Billington

2010 Barrie Rutter

2011 Patrick Stewart

2012 Dame Janet Suzman

2013 Simon Russell Beale

2014 Nicholas Hytner

2015 Sir Kenneth Branagh

2016 Sir Trevor Nunn

2017 Sir Antony Sher

2018 Jane Lapotaire

2019 Professor Jerzy Limon

2020 Juliet Stevenson CBE

2021 Dr John Kani

2022 Adrian Lester CBE

2023 Gregory Doran