Sir Matthew Bourne will be honoured for his achievements in dance with a special prize at this year’s Olivier Awards.
The accolade will be the eighth Olivier for the renowned choreographer and theatre director, making him the joint holder of the most ever wins along with Dame Judi Dench.
Sir Matthew, 59, is known for revolutionising the dance world with his all-male production of Swan Lake in 1995 and for adding his balletic flair to Cameron Mackintosh musicals My Fair Lady and Oliver!.
Kenny Wax, president of the Society of London Theatre, said they are “delighted to acknowledge Matthew Bourne’s extraordinary achievements in dance with this year’s special Olivier Award.
“Matthew has transformed the landscape of dance in this country and across the globe with his bold, innovative and popular work, loved by audiences around the world.”
Sir Matthew’s award-winning work as artistic director of his first company Adventures in Motion Pictures, from 1987 until 2002, includes Spitfire, Nutcracker!, Highland Fling, Cinderella and The Car Man, as well as Swan Lake.
He then went on to launch dance company New Adventures in 2002, and has premiered productions Play Without Words, Edward Scissorhands, The Red Shoes and Sleeping Beauty.
For Swan Lake, Sir Matthew became the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both best choreographer and best director of a musical.
His Olivier Awards include best theatre choreographer in 2002 for his work on West End musical Mary Poppins, and the same prize in 2017 for The Red Shoes.
In 2001, Sir Matthew was awarded an OBE, and in 2016 he was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours for services to dance.
Previous recipients of the Special Award at the Oliviers include Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi, Stephen Sondheim and Sir Ian McKellen.
The nominations for this year’s Olivier Awards, which take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday April 7, will be revealed on Tuesday March 5.