Scarborough theatre champ Cheryl gets top award for her work with young people

Stephen Joseph Theatre associate director cor children and young people Officer Cheryl Govan
Stephen Joseph Theatre associate director cor children and young people Officer Cheryl Govan

The Stephen Joseph Theatre’s associate director for children and young people Cheryl Govan has been recognised for her work in this year’s Oliviers.

She is one of four Olivier Award Be Inspired Champions, which are voted for by members of the public and industry and go to four individuals nationwide who have motivated and inspired others with their love and commitment to theatre.

Cheryl said: “I’m thrilled and touched by this acknowledgement of my work. It sounds contrived, but it’s true to say that every achievement of the young people and adults I have worked with over the years is reward in itself.

“I’m proud of all the actors, writers, directors, stage managers and technicians, of all the midwives, mummies, teachers and scientists, of all the adults who have gone into further and higher education after finding a new confidence.”

Cheryl was nominated for the theatre award by Andrew McPherson, a former member of the Stephen Joseph’s Rounders youth theatre and now a director and drama facilitator.

“Her commitment, unique perspective and directing prowess have kickstarted the careers of actors, writers, directors, stage mangers, designers and facilitators alike,” said Andrew.

“This is the perfect thank you for her to reap back a little of what she has sown for so many people.”

Paul Robinson, artistic director of the Stephen Joseph said: “We’re extremely proud of Cheryl and all that she’s achieved. She and the rest of the OutReach team work incredibly hard to make theatre accessible to the whole community in Scarborough and beyond.”

West Lothian-born Cheryl has worked at the SJT since 1996, joining the theatre after completing a degree in Theatre from Leeds University and teacher training at the former North Riding College.

Her first job at the theate was as a chaperone on Alan Bennett’s 40 Years On, the first play in the McCarthy Theatre.

Cheryl said “I’m also super excited to going to the award ceremony with Andrew and proud that he is inspiring young people all over London through his work as a youth theatre director.” said Cheryl.

She will attend the Olivier Awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday April 8 and receive her plaque during the red carpet live show.

The other three winners are accessible theatre campaigner Pippa Stacey from Sheffield, dance teacher Angela Allport from Southend, and editor of The Musical Theatre Appreciation Society social media platforms, Willy Mukendi from London.

A spokesperson for the Oliviers said: “This is the second year of the Oliviers’ Be Inspired Champions, recognising unsung heroes who go above and beyond either in their job or personal lives to inspire others with their passion for theatre, voted for by members of the public and industry. We are thrilled for this year’s champions from across the country who are four truly remarkable women and well deserved winners.”