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Liz Lochhead to be awarded honorary degree

One of Scotland’s most successful poet and playwrights is to receive an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews.

Liz Lochhead, also an occasional theatre director and frequent broadcaster, will receive a Doctor of Letters (DLitt) on the afternoon of Thursday 27 June 2002.

Liz Lochhead was educated at Glasgow School of Art, graduated from the Department of Drawing and Painting in 1970 and lives in Glasgow. During the academic year 2002/3, she tutors in Glasgow University’s Creative Writing degree course.

Her books of poetry include Memo for Spring, Dreaming Frankenstein, True Confessions and Penguin Modern Poets Four and her original plays for theatre since the early 1980s include Blood and Ice, Shanghai’d, Quelques Fleurs, Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Perfect Days and Britannia Rules.

She has also conducted various theatrical adaptations and translations including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The York Mysteries, Medea (which, in its published form, won translations including the Saltire Book of the Year Prize 2001), Beauty and the Beast, Chekhov’s Three Sisters, both Moliere’s Tartuffe and Le Misanthrope (under the title Miseryguts) at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum.

Her work has been performed by most repertory theatres and many of the touring companies in Scotland as well as a number of others throughout the UK and abroad. Perfect Days had a three- month West End run and, in translation, has enjoyed several own-language productions all over the world in countries such as Brazil, Finland, Israel and Germany.

Apart from its British outings in 2000/1, Medea toured India and was invited to perform at prestigious international theatre festivals in Cyprus and Toronto. In the summer of 2002, Liz will begin work on an ambitious new trilogy of poetic plays from ancient Greek sources for Medea’s producers, Glasgow based theatre Babel.

Professor Peter McKiernan of the Management Department, who nominated Liz Lochhead for the degree said, “I proposed Liz because she is simply Scotland’s most successful female playwright of modern times. As well as winning the Saltire Award in 2001 for her highly acclaimed adaptation of Euripedes “Medea”, she discovered one of Scotland’s most celebrated actresses, Siobhan Redmond, while she was a student here performing in a Mermaid’s play. Siobhan later received an honorary degree from St Andrews in 2000. From a more local perspective, many of Liz Lochhead’s plays including Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off and Perfect Days have enjoyed great success at the town’s Byre Theatre.”

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: honliz2002/standrews/chg/20may2002

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