The Duchess of Cornwall has presented lyricist Don Black with the Special Olivier Award at the virtual Olivier Awards ceremony tonight.
The show celebrates the winners and nominees as well as honouring figures who have made significant contributions to the industry over the past 18 months.
Don Black is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber on musicals such as Starlight Express, Sunset Boulevard and Whistle Down The Wind, and for the James Bond theme songs he co-wrote with composer John Barry – Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With The Golden Gun.
During the show, which was pre-recorded at the London Palladium, The Duchess said:
I believe in the theatre.
Perhaps most importantly, those of us who believe in the theatre also believe in its resilience.
I should like to thank those of you whose profession is in the theatre for your determination and your flexibility. Please remain resilient – we need you and we have missed you.
Presenting the special award to Don Black in the Palladium’s Cinderella Bar, Her Royal Highness said:
Don, of course, has lived and breathed the theatre for decades, and his wonderful lyrics have become part of the fabric of our lives.
I said just now that the theatre is a builder of community. Don, as always, captures this sentiment perfectly in Mrs Henderson Presents with the brilliant line ‘When we’re together, all our woes are gone.’
Don, you are a great dispeller of woes. Many congratulations on this thoroughly well-deserved award.
While at the theatre, The Duchess met Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber and the co-founders of the Theatre Artists’ Fund, director Sam Mendes and chief executive of the Society of London Theatre Julian Bird, as well as three beneficiaries of the fund.
The fund has raised almost £4 million to date and helped more than 2,600 people in the industry.