Loughborough Echo

Former Shelthorpe man Stephen Mear awarded CBE

- DAVID GODSALL david.godsall@reachplc.com

MORE than 1,000 people have been recognised in the New Year Honours list, including some local recipients.

Loughborou­gh-born Stephen Mear, who grew up on Broadway, Shelthorpe, Loughborou­gh, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to dance.

Mr Mear, a West End choreograp­her and director, won a Laurence Olivier Award in 2010 for best Theatre Choreograp­her for his work on Hello Dolly at the

Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park.

In 2006 and 2015 Stephen was the recipient of a Carl Alan Award, an award voted for by leading dance organisati­ons in the United Kingdom.

In 2005, he, and co-choreograp­her Sir Matthew Bourne, won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Choreograp­hy, for their work on West End musical Mary Poppins.

He choreograp­hed the Broadway musical of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2007–08) and choreograp­hed Sunset Boulevard in the West End in 2016 and on Broadway in 2017, starring Glenn Close.

The Echo reported 27 years ago when he stepped up from the chorus line to the leading role in a West End musical after the star of the show was injured.

Stephen, then 28, was given the chance of stardom in the show ‘Some Like it Hot’ after Tommy Steele bruised his spine in a motorcycle scene the night before.

He was given a standing ovation as he came off the stage at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, and had his fingers crossed that this being his first leading role in the West End, would lead to more acting roles.

After hearing of the award wellknown local actress Deirdre Quemby told the Echo: “His mother Fay and his cousin also named Fay danced with me in South Street, Loughborou­gh in the 1960s (Joan Neal Dancing School).

“He was brought along aged three years to watch and he asked if he could dance, which was very unusual for boys in those days.

“Since then he has won two Olivier awards and been a Tony nominee on Broadway- what a coincidenc­e he lived on Broadway!.

“I am beyond proud.” Baroness Susan Catherine Campbell of Loughborou­gh was awarded the Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Sport.

She has always provided inspiratio­n for women competing and working in sport.

She is the current Director of Women’s Football at The FA where she is championin­g the profession­alism and profile of women’s football, is launching the Gameplan for Growth and secured the Barclays sponsorshi­p deal of the Women’s Super League.

She played a major role in the success of the England team at the recent World Cup.

• Belton man, Andrew Peter Spencer Ebben. has also been awarded a BEM in the New Year’s Honours list for his work towards saving the lives of swimmers. (See page three).

 ??  ?? ■ Pictured in 2017, choreograp­her Stephen Mear (right) with cast member Matthew Caputo, rehearsing for Scrooge the musical for The Curve, Leicester. Image courtesy of Manuel Harlan.
■ Pictured in 2017, choreograp­her Stephen Mear (right) with cast member Matthew Caputo, rehearsing for Scrooge the musical for The Curve, Leicester. Image courtesy of Manuel Harlan.

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