Kobna Holdbrook-Smith MBE

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith MBE

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical 2019 for his role as Ike Turner in "Tina the Musical".

Awarded the Degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa, by the Univerity of Surrey.

GSA Advisory Group member Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is an Olivier award-winning film, television, theatre and voice actor. He is also a writer, producer and maker.

His film work includes WonkaThe GorgeMary Poppins ReturnsDr. StrangeJustice League: Snyder CutPaddington 2, and The Commuter. TV work includes His Dark MaterialsThe SplitCapitalThe Last Panthers and The Veil. On stage, he has received critical and audience acclaim playing leads at the National, Barbican, Royal Court, Young Vic, Globe, Kiln and Royal Exchange theatres among others. He won an Olivier Award (Best Actor in a Musical) for playing Ike Turner in the original production of Tina: The Tina Turner the Musical — his West End debut, and first professional musical. His voice work includes many BBC and independent radio plays, some poetry, and over forty audio titles — including all of Ben Aaronovitch's best-selling Rivers of London series.

Kobna is also a trustee of the Young Vic Theatre, an associate at the National Theatre, and a Creative Council member at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. He co-founded the Act For Change Project and joint-produced the sector-wide Speak-Listen-Reset-Heal conference. In 2020 was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to drama and in 2023, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Surrey, in recognition of his extraordinary acting achievements and impactful advocacy for the arts.