Gemma Bodinetz & Deborah Aydon to Receive LJMU Honorary Fellowships

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Everyman and Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz and Executive Director Deborah Aydon will receive Honorary Fellowships from Liverpool John Moores University this summer in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the dramatic arts. Also receiving an Honorary Fellowships is Everyman and Playhouse board member Rod Holmes.

Bodinetz and Aydon took charge of Liverpool's Everyman and Playhouse Theatres in 2003. In that time they have produced 107 plays, creating work that is embedded in its community, such as The Cruel Sea, alongside productions that have enhanced the company's reputation nationally and internationally such as the world tour of The Caretaker, the return to the city of established stars including Pete Postlethwaite, David Morrissey and Kim Cattrall, while establishing Young Everyman Playhouse which will inspire the next generation of theatremakers.

They have overseen the redevelopment of the Everyman which reopened in March this year. Recently named the best new building in the North West by RIBA, the new Everyman includes new incarnations of its hallmark features - a 400-seat thrust auditorium and convivial basement bistro, 21st-century technical equipment, a rehearsal room, costume workshop, writers' room and a large studio dedicated to our participatory work.

Gemma Bodinetz said: "It is always a little overwhelming to be honoured for doing something that you love and humbling when that endeavour has been in collaboration with a plethora of like-minded passionate souls many of whom receive little public acclamation. My time as Artistic Director of the Everyman and Playhouse has been the richest and most rewarding of my career. Deborah and I have been fortunate to make theatre and indeed a theatre with a committed and inspiring team of people, in a city that doesn't question the value of cultural expression, indeed defines itself in these terms. The theatres have long cherished their relationship with LJMU and the student population of this city and I am very honoured to call myself a fellow, especially in such distinguished company."

Deborah Aydon said: "This is a wonderful recognition of the work of the Everyman and Playhouse team and all the artists who have made these theatres such vibrant creative hubs. This Fellowship will strengthen the connection between the theatres and LJMU - the university is our close neighbour on Hope Street and a kindred spirit in terms of nurturing the intellectual and creative life of future generations."

Everyman and Playhouse board member Rod Holmes will also receive an Honorary Fellowship from the University for services to the regeneration of the Liverpool City Region. Rod has been a board member with the theatres since and 2006, is a former chairman of The Mersey Partnership and oversaw the Liverpool ONE regeneration project.

The Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding achievement by an individual in a given field or profession and to those who exemplify the University's ethos to 'dream, plan and achieve'.

LJMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill said: "Each of the new Honorary Fellows have brought dedication, commitment and passion to their professions and in turn have empowered the communities around them through the arts, business, regeneration or sport. This aligns with LJMU's commitment to changing lives through our teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer and outreach activities.

"A modern civic university translates into supporting people, communities and causes, while addressing the issues that matter most. The Honorary Fellows of 2014 are exemplary role models in these areas and I am delighted that we will welcome such inspirational individuals to the University during our summer graduation ceremonies."

The following Fellowships will be conferred during LJMU's graduation ceremonies at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral between 14 and 18 July 2014.

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