London Contemporary Dance School
Image: Camilla Greenwell
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alumnus Alex Jennings has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West of England. The award was presented by Professor David Halton, Chair of Trustees for the School at the graduation ceremony at St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol.
Alex Jennings has excelled in every area of a working actor’s world: from reading poetry at the Ryedale Festival’s truth’s disguise series to receiving 8 awards for audio book readings; for working in films playing as diverse a set of roles as Prince Charles and Alan Bennett; for starring in the West End as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Amazing Chocolate Factory and for a huge number of roles in many television series and dramas, including King Leopold in Victoria and the Duke of Windsor in The Crown. He is the only person to have won three Best Actor Olivier Awards for Comedy (Too Clever by Half in 1988), Drama (Peer Gynt in 1996) and Musical (My Fair Lady in 2003).
Upcoming for 2018 is BBC drama A Very English Scandal, which will also feature recent BOVTS graduate Michelle Fox.
Nicholas Hytner, former Artistic Director of the National Theatre, was asked to provide supporting evidence for the honorary award. He wrote: “In shows we’ve worked on together, he’s played a chilling Gestapo chief, President George W. Bush, a shattering Leontes, Benjamin Britten, a mercurial Subtle in The Alchemist and Alan Bennett. The only thing they had in common was their excellence. Always authoritative, always witty, always stylish – certainly. Always wonderfully articulate and he can include a thousand people without raising his voice: technically, he couldn’t be a better example for his successors at Bristol. But always grounded in truth. You couldn’t be honouring a better actor or a better person.”
Images: Ede & Ravenscroft. Clockwise left to right: Graduation at St Mary Redcliffe Church; BOVTS Chair of Trustees Prof David Halton; Alex Jennings receives Honorary Doctorate; BOVTS students perform at Graduation.