LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
In November 2008, in between finishing the national tour of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE and starting rehearsals for SPIDERS WEB, Mark donned a circus ringmasters costume and was Master of Ceremonies for an all day fund raising fete in the Buxton Dome for the Michael Elliott Trust, which administers the famous Freshfields Donkey Village.
The Buxton Dome was once a magnificent 18th Century stable block built to house the 5th Duke of Devonshire's horses and servants and boasts the largest unsupported dome in Britain, encircled by 44 pillars and with more than 1,300 square feet of exhibition space. For the Freshfields Donkey Village fete there were clowns, craft stalls, jugglers and creatures from the stage show of Doctor Doolittle and appearances by Freshfields President June ‘Dot Cotton' Brown and patrons Bill Kenwright and Jenny Seagrove whilst Mark spread his charm and bon homie introducing the events and providing a running commentary for the visitors.
The Michael Elliott Trust commemorates a remarkable man of the theatre and was founded in 1991 with two complementary aims: to provide a sanctuary for donkeys rescued from abandonment, abuse or neglect and to provide a safe place where special needs children can adopt a donkey and help feed, groom and care for it during their visit.
At the celebratory dinner that evening in Buxton, Mark was very surprised and delighted to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by theatrical impresario and current boss, Bill Kenwright who commended Mark for his versatility as an actor and singer in his very successful career and looked forward to Mark's 50th anniversary in show business in 2010. Chosen by Bill and Dame Judi Dench the award takes the shape of a Venetian vase which now has pride of place in Mark's Sussex living room.
CONCERT ARTISTS ASSOCIATION
During 2007/2008 Mark was honoured to be the President of the Concert Artists Association [CAA] following in illustrious footsteps of the great and the good like Arthur Askey, Leslie Crowther and Roy Hudd.