Imelda Staunton has been awarded honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music.
Honorary membership is limited to 300 living people who did not attend the academy, with current members including Stephen Sondheim, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Elton John.
Staunton, who trained at RADA and has appeared in productions including Gypsy and Follies, told graduates: “All you are doing is your craft. Don’t worry if you are doing it in the biggest theatre in London or the smallest 20-seater out in the Outer Hebrides, you do your best at all times, small part, big part, you do 2000% every time you perform and that will make you stronger.”
“I want to say thank you so very much for letting me be here today and I celebrate your wonderful talent you already have,” she added.
She was given the honour at the academy’s graduation ceremony on July 5, where performer Stephen Ashfield was also presented with a fellowship of the academy.
Hadley Fraser hosted the graduation ceremony.
At the graduation ceremony, more than 200 students graduated with nine types of award.