Legendary actor Sir Antony Sher to receive 2017’s Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award bestowed at the annual Lunch in April.
This month signifies the birth and death of William Shakespeare, and every year George Pragnell present a prestigious award to artists who have made significant contributions to Shakespeare’s celebrated works. We are thrilled to announce Sir Antony Sher as this year’s winner. As a long-standing performer of many Shakespearean plays and other works, he has won the prestigious Laurence Olivier twice over, and is highly regarded in the industry. He starred in leading roles in multiple productions with the RSC, as well as the National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre and many films and television productions. The Pragnell Award is presented at the annual Shakespeare Birthday lunch, a major community event in Stratford-upon-Avon that celebrates the rich culture and history of Shakespeare and the local community. This international award is funded by the Pragnell family, and the winner is presented with a stunning decorative silver scroll and medallion. Other winners include a long list of the finest actors and actresses ever to perform the works of Shakespeare, from Dame Judi Dench, to Sir Patrick Stewart.
The Pragnell Award is chosen by a formal committee comprising The Shakespeare Institute, The Shakespeare Birthday Trust, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Charlie Pragnell said: ‘Sir Antony Sher receives this year’s award because of his terrific lifetime contribution and knowledge of the work and influence of Shakespeare… Each celebration parade and lunch is unique and that’s because of the depth of history, the actors, and the people of Stratford-upon-Avon.’
The Birthday Luncheon will host a range of professionals from the industry and public figures who are passionate about preserving the works of Shakespeare. Speakers at the luncheon will include Phyllida Lloyd, director of many opera, theatre, and film productions, Andrew Parmley Lord Mayor of London, Professor Michael Dobson from the Shakespeare Institute, Dr Diana Owen from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and Stratford Mayor Cllr Juliet Short. The event will also be compered by TV journalist Quentin Willson.
Alan Haigh, one of the luncheon’s organisers said: ‘it is a splendid occasion and it is fantastic that so many tickets have been bought by people from Stratford.’