Paule Constable and Alison King were awarded Honorary Doctorates at Mountview’s graduation ceremonies on Monday 20 November. The graduation ceremonies took place at Peckhamplex, and the Honorary Doctorate is an award of UEA nominated by Mountview. 

Paule Constable is one of this country’s most successful lighting designers, and a pioneer for female production artists. Her career spans theatre, ballet, opera and dance. She is critically acclaimed for her lighting design, having won, amongst others, Five Olivier Awards, Two Tony Awards, Two Drama Desk Awards and Three LA Critics’ Circle Awards.  She is also a Royal Designer for Industry. 

She has a long-standing relationship with the National Theatre, where she is an Associate Director. Paule’s lighting design has elevated some of the National’s best-loved productions including War Horse, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Follies, Nine Night, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Angels in America. 

Paule is a passionate advocate for women in theatre. She was the first woman to light a show at the National Theatre in 1993 and remains one of only three women to have received the Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design. She is a founder-member of Freelancers Make Theatre Work and is an active and passionate campaigner for sustainable theatre.  

A Mountview alum (class of 1992), Alison King is one of the country’s most inspirational creative arts leaders. She left Mountview in the knowledge that her ultimate aim was to run her own theatre company and create work which made a difference to the world. In 1994 she arrived at Turtle Key Arts as stage manager and found her calling.  

Now Chief Executive, under Alison’s leadership Turtle Key Arts has become a sector-leading organisation committed to participation in the arts for disabled, disadvantaged and socially excluded people. Its work spans theatre, dance and circus, and engages with a diverse range of participants including those with autism, dyslexia, dementia and young people with HIV.  

Ground-breaking programmes include ‘Turtle Song’, a singing and song writing project for people with dementia, delivered in partnership with English Touring Opera and Royal College of Music; ‘Key Club’, a monthly arts and social club based at the Lyric Hammersmith for 16-30 year olds on the autism spectrum and now at the Kiln Theatre as well; and ‘Joy Festival’, a celebration of West London disabled and non disabled artists in an exciting programme of visual art, music, theatre and dance which was shortlisted for the Community Project of the Year at The Stage Awards 2022. 

Mountview Principal Sally Ann Gritton said “Mountview’s honorary degrees are awarded to individuals of distinction in the arts and it is my pleasure to be able to announce Paule Constable and Alison King as this years’ recipients. We are proud to be able to celebrate Paule and Alison’s achievements, and to highlight their incredible contribution to the industry.”  

Photography: Mountview/@sglasshoto