In interview to The Telegraph, the producer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Sonia Friedman, talked about her work, due to the proximity of the Olivier Awards – the most important theatre awards. This year, Sonia Friedman’s productions are up to 31 nominations, 11 of them being responsibility of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with the highest number of nominations in the awards’ history.
Owner of her own company for 15 years and part of the team of over 160 productions, Sonia was responsible for producing Madonna’s debut at the West End (Up for Grabs), Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet and big musical classics such as Funny Girl and Dreamgirls.
“To have the show recognised in its own right as a good piece of work – that matters more than box-office. You crave that approval”, said Sonia, who cried the first time she met J.K. Rowling.
Her father, who used to live in a street close to J.K. Rowling’s, left Sonia’s mom and her three siblings around the time she was born.
When you grow up with that rejection, it’s very hard ever to get rid of it – it’s in your factory setting. [When I knocked on Rowling’s door] I’d been thinking, ‘If only my dad were alive now, perhaps he’d finally be proud of me’. So, I talked a lot about him when we first met. We didn’t talk about merchandise and box-office. I talked about what I wanted an audience to feel. I said, ‘I think this needs to be about a dad who doesn’t know how to be a dad’.
Even though she claims to be determined not to be “defined” by Harry Potter, denying when other producers say it’s her opportunity to calm down, the producer and her conviction delivers good news to the fans. “I won’t be settled until we have 10 productions around the world”. When asked if it was going to be like a musical blockbuster, she answered “Yes, but it’s a play, and seven hours in the theatre, so we have to get it right”.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is being performed at the Palace Theatre in London since July of 2016. In 2018, it arrives at Brodway’s famous stage, in a completely renovated theatre to match the experience during each moment spent inside.
News translated by Beatriz Souza