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Thelma Holt wins 2018 Sam Wanamaker award

Thelma Holt. Photo: Barker Evans Thelma Holt. Photo: Barker Evans
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Producer Thelma Holt has been awarded the 2018 Sam Wanamaker Award, which celebrates work that has increased the understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare.

The prize is awarded by Shakespeare’s Globe, with its chief executive Neil Constable praising Holt’s “support of international cultural exchange, especially in producing and touring many award-winning Shakespeare productions”.

Her productions include The Merchant of Venice with Dustin Hoffman, Hamlet with Alan Rickman and Much Ado About Nothing, starring Mark Rylance and Janet McTeer.

As associate producer of the Royal Shakespeare Company, she also toured productions of Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Co-productions with the RSC in the West End include The Taming of the Shrew, and she is currently associate producer of Imperium.

“The news that I was to receive the Sam Wanamaker award made the sun come out in my world, even though it appeared to be raining heavily elsewhere. I and anyone else who was involved so many years ago remain proud of the work we did when a madman called Sam Wanamaker had a brilliant idea,” she said.

She added: “Every obstacle that was put in his way was shot down in flames. However hard we may have worked on his behalf was nothing compared to what we received in return. Everything I learned with Sam I have continued to use in my own career and indeed now share with young people coming into the profession.”

She said it was “thrilling today to come to the Globe and see the great work that continues to be done to the lasting credit of the country that gave birth to William Shakespeare”.

Previous recipients of the award, which is not annual, include RSC founding member John Barton and actor Mark Rylance.