Artistic Director of Theatre Peckham Suzann McClean is awarded MBE

Suzann McLean, CEO and Artistic Director of Theatre Peckham, has been awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List for her services to the arts and marginalised young people. Suzann has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to theatre and television as an actor and director, as well as her commitment to widening access for young people from marginalised backgrounds to participate and lead in the arts. 

With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Suzann, from Leytonstone, East London has dedicated her career to creating opportunities for young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds to develop their skills and pursue careers in the arts. 

In 2004, Suzann founded Young and Talented, a successful programme that nurtures and develops young people for stage, screen and life. The programme has helped many young people achieve success in the industry. In 2018 she was appointed CEO and Artistic Director of Theatre Peckham which also runs a flagship Academy for performing arts and technical theatre.

Commenting on the award, Suzann McLean said: “Being recognised in this way is uplifting and inspiring. It is an honour that I share with the young people who have participated in the programmes that I have provided over the years. This award is dedicated to them, and I will continue to create opportunities for them to shine.”

About Theatre Peckham, McLean adds: “My vision for a more inclusive and representative arts sector is one that we all share at Theatre Peckham. This award is recognition of the hard work of the entire team who are dedicated to creating opportunities for participation in the arts. I am proud to be part of a community that celebrates diversity and empowers young people.”   

Anni Domingo, Chair of Theatre Peckham added, “Suzann’s efforts to introduce young people to theatre have been transformative. Through her leadership, young people from marginalised backgrounds have been given a platform to tell their own stories – stories that are often underrepresented in the arts. This recognition is well-deserved and we are proud to have Suzann as our leader at Theatre Peckham.” 

Theatre Peckham is an innovative, creative arts hub, and like all community-based organisations, it has a civic role as an agent of cohesion and change. Suzann’s leadership has given some of the most disenfranchised and marginalised young people positive creative avenues of expression as well as the business acumen to build sustainable careers in the arts. Young people growing under Suzann’s leadership are able to make a greater contribution to Britain’s arts scene because they learn to be creators of their own work. 

Suzann’s passion and commitment in the arts has not gone unnoticed. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the prestigious Arts & Media Award at the Black British Business Awards in 2022 and as Torchbearer for the 2012 Olympics where she was recognised for her excellent work for the community and society. Theatre Peckham is a winner of the Off West End Award (OFFIES) and recently won the Prestige award for Venue of the Year.

The team at Theatre Peckham are proud to be part of a grassroots organisation that is leading the way for change. They are confident that under Suzann’s leadership and vision, an inclusive and representative arts sector will become a reality.