Former CASUALTY actor Kwame Kwei-Armah has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth for his services to Drama.
Kwame, who played paramedic Fin Newton in CASUALTY between 1999-2004 is a successful actor, playwright, singer and broadcaster. His critically acclaimed play ‘Elmina’s Kitchen’ ran in the West End (The First African Caribbean playwright to have had that honour).
He has already won numerous awards including a Charles Wintor Award, Screen Nation Award and has also been nominated for a Lawrence Oliver Award and a BAFTA. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from The Open University in 2008.
Kwame made his directorial debut at Baltimore’s Centerstage directing the Macarther award winning playwright Naomi Wallace’s Things of Dry Hours in early 2007. He then went on to direct the Pultizer nominated playwright Esa Davis’s Ten minute play Dave Chappelle Was Right for the 24hr plays on Broadway and has recently completed directing his own play – Let There Be Love at the Tricycle Theatre London.
He has presented Newsnight Review and the Culture Show, has been a panellist on Question Time and Newsnight Review, and is often heard on BBC Radio 4. He was a regular columnist for The Guardian (2005-6) and has written articles for The Independent, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard, the New Statesmen and The Observer.
Kwame has been the Good Will ambassador for Trade for Christian Aid 2003. He is a Governor at The University of the Arts London, a trustee of The Roundhouse, The National Theatre and the Tricycle Theatre and LEAP, a local employment charity focussing on getting the long term unemployed back into employment.
Kwame said his OBE was a tribute to the “immigrant’s dream” that brought his parents to the UK from the West Indies.