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Pragnell Shakespeare Award

Introduced in 1990, 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.' 

Anyone working in any field of Shakespearian endeavour, including theatre, criticism, or in Shakespearian scholarship is eligible. An individual who has achieved notable success in this field in the past year or so qualifies or the award can be made in recognition of sustained achievements. 

The event coincides with the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations for the anniversary of the playwright's birth in 1564. The Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations remain one of the few engagements for the Diplomatic corps outside London.  

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