The Mayflower Theatre's Isobel Gatward has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours list.
The award is for her services in the charitable sector during her long association with the Southampton based theatre.
Isobel is currently President of Mayflower Theatre Trust, having previously served 27 years as Chairman of the Mayflower Theatre board.
Isobel said: “I am delighted to receive this award and feel I am accepting it on behalf of Mayflower Theatre.
"I have been very proud of how the theatre has grown and developed over the last 30 years and I am honoured that my role in its development has been acknowledged in such a special way”.
Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive of Mayflower Theatre today added: “I am thrilled that Isobel has been recognised for all her hard work over the years.
"From her career as an actress to when she came on board to help create Mayflower Theatre’s charitable trust in 1986, she has dedicated her life to the service of the arts in our region.
"Isobel would never actively seek this recognition, however she is so deserving of this award and that her services have been acknowledged in this very special way. Isobel is so wonderful, warm and supportive and on behalf of all the staff I congratulate her on such a merited honour”.
Isobel Gatward who lives in Lymington comes from a theatrical family background of writers and actors.
She had a long and varied career in the 60’s as actress Isobel Black, working in theatre, film and TV ranging from Miranda in The Tempest to filming with Morecambe and Wise and starring in The Troubleshooters, where she met and married her husband, director James Gatward.
While bringing up her family she was significant in the creation of “Shakespeare’s Language” – a small group of actors passionately involved in educational workshops going into schools and colleges, across the entire sector, in Hampshire.