Sonia Friedman

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Sonia Friedman
Born
Sonia Anne Primrose Freedman

April 1965 (age 53)
Occupation Theatre producer
Years active 1988–present

Sonia Anne Primrose Friedman OBE (née Freedman; born April 1965)[1] is a British West End and Broadway theatre producer. On 27 January 2017 Friedman was named Producer of the Year for the third year running at The Stage Awards, becoming the first person to win the award three times. In 2018, Friedman was featured in TIME100, Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2018.

Early life

Friedman is the youngest daughter of Clair Llewelyn Friedman (née Sims), a concert pianist, and the eminent Russian violinist Leonard Friedman, who was leader of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Thomas Beecham and co-founder of many national institutions including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Baroque Ensemble.[2][3][4] Her father is from a Russian Jewish immigrant family and her mother is English.[5]

Friedman was educated at several schools including St Christopher School, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, and trained as a stage manager at the Central School of Speech and Drama. It was after organising a couple of benefits for World Aids Day during the late 1980s (one of which saw over 200 celebrities working as shop assistants in Covent Garden) that she decided to follow a career as a theatre producer.

Career

Theatre producer

After working at the National Theatre between 1988 and 1993 (fulfilling the various roles of stage management, Education Manager, Head of Education and Producer of Mobile Productions and Theatre for Young People), she co-founded the new writing theatre company Out of Joint in 1993 with Max Stafford-Clark. From 1998, Friedman worked as a producer for the Ambassador Theatre Group. She launched her own theatre company, Sonia Friedman Productions, in 2002. Friedman's productions have been nominated for and won numerous Olivier, Tony and other awards.[citation needed] At the 2014 Olivier Awards, Sonia Friedman Productions made Olivier Awards history by winning the most awards for any producer and for winning prizes for Best New Play (Chimerica), Best New Musical (The Book of Mormon), Best Play Revival (Ghosts) and Best Musical Revival (Merrily We Roll Along).

Friedman was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to theatre.[6]

In 2017, Friedman won producer of the year at The Stage Awards for a third year (becoming the first person to win the award three times[7], and was listed as no. 1 on The Stage power list, the second solo female to hold this position in the award's history and becoming the first person to top the list that wasn't a theatre owner.[8]

SFP productions and co-productions received an unprecedented 31 nominations in the 2017 Olivier Awards – including a record-breaking 11 for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – the most nominated new play in Olivier history. The show went on to win 9 Olivier Awards – the most ever for one production.[9]

In 2018, Friedman was awarded the Equity Services to Theatre Award at the 18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, and was featured in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. [10]

TV producer

In 2015, Sonia Friedman Productions co-produced two television dramas, the BAFTA Nominated The Dresser which aired on BBC Two and directly followed after SFP's partnership with Playground Entertainment on the six-part mini-series adaptation of Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' which also aired on BBC Two in January 2015 and won two BAFTA Television Awards in 2016.

Theatre credits

TV credits

Awards

Following is a selection of the awards won by Sonia Friedman and SFP's productions or co-productions.

Olivier Awards

  • The Ferryman, Best New Play, 2018
  • The Ferryman, Sam Mendes, Best Director, 2018
  • The Ferryman, Laura Donnelly, Best Actress, 2018
  • Ink, Bertie Carvel, Best Supporting Actor, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Best New Play, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, John Tiffany, Best Director, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jamie Parker, Best Actor, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Noma Dumezweni, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Anthony Boyle, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Neil Austin, Best Lighting Design, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Gareth Fry, Best Sound Design, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Katrina Lindsay, Best Costume Design, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Christine Jones, Best Set Design, 2017
  • Dreamgirls, Amber Riley, Best Actress in a Musical, 2017
  • Dreamgirls, Adam J Bernard, Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical, 2017
  • Oresteia, Robert Icke, Best Director, 2016
  • Sunny Afternoon, Best New Musical, 2015
  • Sunny Afternoon, John Dagleish, Best Actor in a Musical, 2015
  • Sunny Afternoon, George Maguire, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, 2015
  • Sunny Afternoon, Ray Davis, Outstanding Achievement in Music, 2015
  • The Nether, Es Devlin, Best Set Design, 2015
  • King Charles III, Best New Play, 2015
  • The Book of Mormon, Best New Musical, 2014
  • The Book of Mormon, Gavin Creel, Best Actor in a Musical, 2014
  • The Book of Mormon, Stephen Ashfield, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, 2014
  • The Book of Mormon, Casey Nicholaw, Best Theatre Choreography, 2014
  • Chimerica, Best New Play, 2014
  • Chimerica, Lyndsey Turner, Best Director, 2014
  • Chimerica, Es Devlin, Best Set Design, 2014
  • Chimerica, Tim Lutkin and Finn Ross, Best Lighting Design, 2014
  • Chimerica, Carolyn Downing, Best Sound Design, 2014
  • Ghosts, Best Revival, 2014
  • Ghosts, Lesley Manville, Best Actress, 2014
  • Ghosts, Jack Lowden, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, 2014
  • Merrily We Roll Along, Best Musical Revival, 2014
  • Merrily We Roll Along, Gareth Owen, Best Sound Design, 2014
  • Legally Blonde, Best New Musical, 2011
  • Legally Blonde, Sheridan Smith, Best Actress in a Musical, 2011
  • Legally Blonde, Jill Halfpenny, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, 2011
  • The Mountaintop, Best New Play, 2010
  • Jerusalem, Mark Rylance, Best Actor in a Play, 2010
  • Jerusalem, Ultz, Best Set Design, 2010
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Best Musical Revival, 2009
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Douglas Hodge, Best Actor in a Musical, 2009
  • Rock 'n' Roll, Rufus Sewell, Best Actor in a Play, 2007
  • Woman in White, Mick Potter, Best Sound Design, 2005
  • Hitchcock Blonde, William Dudley, Best Set Design, 2004
  • Ragtime, Maria Friedman, Best Actress in a Musical, 2004

Tony Awards

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Best Play, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, John Tiffany, Best Director, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Katrina Lindsay, Best Costume Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Neil Austin, Best Lighting Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Christine Jones, Best Scenic Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Gareth Fry, Best Sound Design, 2018
  • A View from the Bridge, Best Revival of a Play, 2016
  • Humans, Best Play, 2016
  • A Raisin in the Sun, Best Revival of a Play, 2014
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It, Judy Kaye, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, 2012
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It, Michael McGrath, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, 2012
  • Death of a Salesman, Best Revival of a Play, 2012
  • Death of a Salesman, Mike Nichols, Best Direction of a Play, 2012
  • The Book Of Mormon, Best Musical, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, Best Book of a Musical, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, Best Original Score, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, Best Direction of a Musical, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Larry Hochman & Stephen Oremus, Best Orchestrations, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Scott Pask, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Brian MacDevitt, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Brian Ronan, Best Sound Design of a Musical, 2011
  • The Book Of Mormon, Nikki M. James, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, 2011
  • Jerusalem, Mark Rylance, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, 2011
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Best Revival of a Musical, 2010
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Douglas Hodge, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, 2010
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Terry Johnson, Best Direction of a Musical, 2010
  • A Little Night Music, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, 2010
  • A View From the Bridge, Scarlett Johansson, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, 2010
  • The Norman Conquests, Best Revival of a Play, 2009
  • Boeing-Boeing, Best Revival of a Play, 2008
  • Boeing-Boeing, Mark Rylance, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, 2008
  • Faith Healer, Ian McDiarmid, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play, 2006
  • Noises Off, Katie Finneran, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, 2002

Bafta Television Awards

  • Drama Series, Wolf Hall, 2016
  • Leading Actor, Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall, 2016

The Stage Awards

  • Producer of the year, Sonia Friedman, 2017
  • Producer of the year, Sonia Friedman, 2016
  • Producer of the year, Sonia Friedman, 2015

Evening Standard Awards

  • The Inheritance, Best Play, 2018
  • The Jungle, Miriam Buether, Best Design, 2018
  • The Ferryman, Best Play, 2017
  • The Ferryman, Sam Mendes, Best Director, 2017
  • The Ferryman, Tom Glynn-Carney, Emerging Talent, 2017
  • Dreamgirls, Amber Riley, Best Musical Performance, 2017
  • Ink, Best Design, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Best Play, 2016
  • Oresteia, Robert Icke, Best Director, 2015
  • All My Sons, Howard Davies, Best Director, 2010
  • Jerusalem, Best Play, 2009
  • Jerusalem, Mark Rylance, Best Actor, 2009
  • Othello, Lenny Henry, Outstanding Newcomer, 2009
  • That Face, Polly Stenham, Most Promising Playwright, 2007
  • Home Place, Brian Friel, Best Play, 2005

Drama Desk Awards

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Outstanding New Broadway Play, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, John Tiffany, Outstanding Director of a Play, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Christine Jones, Outstanding Set Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Neil Austin, Outstanding Light Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Finn Ross and Ash Woodward, Outstanding Projection Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Gareth Fry, Outstanding Sound Design, 2018
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It, Joe DiPietro, Outstanding Book of a Musical, 2012
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It, Judy Kaye, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, 2012
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It, Michael McGrath, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, 2012
  • Death of a Salesman, Outstanding Revival of a Play, 2012
  • Death of a Salesman, Mike Nichols, Outstanding Director of a Play, 2012
  • The Book of Mormon, Outstanding Musical, 2011
  • The Book of Mormon, Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, Outstanding Director of a Musical, 2011
  • The Book of Mormon, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, Outstanding Music, 2011
  • The Book of Mormon, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, Outstanding Lyrics, 2011
  • La Cage aux Folles, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, 2010
  • La Cage aux Folles, Douglas Hodge, Outstanding Actor in a Musical, 2010
  • La Cage aux Folles, Matthew Wright, Outstanding Costume Design, 2010
  • A Little Night Music, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Outstanding Actress in a Musical, 2010
  • A View From the Bridge, Outstanding Revival of a Play, 2010
  • A View From the Bridge, Liev Schreiber, Outstanding Actor in a Play, 2010
  • The Norman Conquests, Outstanding Revival of a Play, 2009
  • The Norman Conquests, Matthew Warchus, Outstanding Director, 2009
  • The Norman Conquests, Outstanding Ensemble Performance, 2009
  • Boeing-Boeing, Outstanding Revival of a Play, 2008
  • Boeing-Boeing, Mark Rylance, Outstanding Actor in a Play, 2008
  • A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Eddie Izzard, Outstanding Actor in a Play, 2003

Critics' Circle Awards

  • The Ferryman, Best New Play, 2018
  • Hamlet, Best Shakespearean Performance, Andrew Scott, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, Best Director, John Tiffany, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, Best Designer, Christine Jones, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, Most Promising Newcomer, Anthony Boyle, 2017
  • Bend It Like Beckham, Best Musical, 2016
  • King Charles III, Best New Play, 2014
  • Chimerica, Best New Play, 2013
  • Merrily We Roll Along, Best Musical, 2012
  • All My Sons, Best Actor, David Suchet, 2011
  • Clybourne Park, Best New Play, 2011
  • Jerusalem, Best New Play, 2010
  • Jerusalem, Mark Rylance, Best Actor, 2010
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Best Musical, 2009

WhatsOnStage Awards

  • Sonia Friedman, Equity Services to Theatre Award, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Best West End Show, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Best Show Poster, 2018
  • The Ferryman, Best New Play, 2018
  • The Ferryman, Best Direction, 2018
  • The Ferryman, Fra Fee, Best Supporting Actor in a Play, 2018
  • Hamlet, Best Play Revival, 2018
  • Hamlet, Juliet Stevenson, Best Supporting Actress in a Play, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Best New Play, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jamie Parker, Best Actor in a Play, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Anthony Boyle, Best Supporting Actor in a Play, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Noma Dumezweni, Best Supporting Actress in a Play, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, John Tiffany, Best Direction, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Christine Jones, Best Set Design, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Neil Austin, Best Lighting Design, 2017
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Finn Ross and Ash Woodward, Best Video Design, 2017
  • Dreamgirls, Amber Riley, Best Actress in a Musical, 2017
  • Funny Girl, Best Musical Revival, 2017
  • Hamlet, Best Play Revival, 2016
  • Hamlet, Benedict Cumberbatch, Best Actor in a Play, 2016
  • Hamlet, Es Devlin, Best Set Design, 2016
  • Hamlet, Jane Cox, Best Lighting Design, 2016
  • Shakespeare in Love, Best New Play, 2015
  • The Book of Mormon, Best New Musical, 2014
  • Twelfth Night, Stephen Fry, Best Supporting Actor in a Play, 2013
  • Richard III & Twelfth Night, The IMAIL Best Ensemble Performance, 2013
  • Twelfth Night, Best Shakespearean Production, 2013
  • Much Ado About Nothing, David Tennant and Catherine Tate reuniting on stage, Theatre Event of the Year, 2012
  • Much Ado About Nothing, Best Shakespearean Production, 2012
  • All My Sons, Zoe Wanamaker, Best Actress in a Play, 2011
  • All My Sons, David Suchet, Best Actor in a Play, 2011
  • Legally Blonde, Sheridan Smith, Best Actress in a Musical, 2011
  • Legally Blonde, Jill Halfpenny, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, 2011
  • Shirley Valentine, Meer Syal, Best Solo Performance, 2011
  • Legally Blonde, by Nell Benjamin, Lawrence O’Keefe & Heather Hach, Best New Musical, 2011
  • Legally Blonde, Jerry Mitchell, Best Choreographer, 2011
  • La Cage Aux Folles, John Barrowman, Best Takeover Role, 2010
  • Jerusalem, by Jez Butterworth, Best New Play, 2010
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Tracie Bennett, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, 2009
  • Under The Blue Sky, by David Eldridge, Best New Play, 2009
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Lynne Page, Best Choreographer, 2009
  • The Dumb Waiter, Lee Evans, Best Supporting Actor, 2008
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll, by Tom Stoppard, Best New Play, 2007
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll, Trevor Nunn, Best Director, 2007
  • Otherwise Engaged, Anthony Head, Best Supporting Actor, 2006
  • The Woman in White, Michael Ball, Best Takeover Role, 2006
  • The Woman in White, Maria Freidman, Best Actress in a Musical, 2005
  • The Woman in White, Angela Christian, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, 2005
  • The Woman in White, Michael Crawford, Best Actor in a Musical, 2005
  • The Woman in White, Trevor Nunn, Best Director, 2005
  • The Woman in White, William Dudley, Best Set Designer, 2005
  • What the Night Is For, Gillian Anderson, Best Actress in a Play, 2003
  • Up For Grabs, Sian Thomas, Best Supporting Actress in a Play, 2003
  • Up For Grabs, Madonna’s West End debut, Theatre Event of the Year, 2003
  • A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Victoria Hamilton, Best Actress in a Play, 2002
  • A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Best Play Revival, 2002

South Bank Sky Arts Awards

  • The Jungle, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, 2017
  • King Charles III, 2015

Outer Critics Circle Awards

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Outstanding New Broadway Play, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, John Tiffany, Outstanding Director of a Play, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Christine Jones, Outstanding Set Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Neil Austin, Outstanding Lighting Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Finn Ross & Ash Woodward, Outstanding Projection Design, 2018
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Gareth Fry, Outstanding Sound Design, 2018
  • Mean Girls, Tina Fey, Outstanding Book of a Musical, 2018

Drama League Awards

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play, 2018

Personal life

She is the younger sister of director/actress/singer Maria Friedman, violinist Richard Friedman and Dr Sarah Beecham. Her younger (half) brother, Ben, is a television director (his credits include being Director / Producer of The Great British Bake Off). Sonia lives with the writer Joe Murphy in their East End pub and they have two dogs.

References

  1. ^ "Ms Sonia Anne Primrose Friedman – free company director check. Companies House Information". Company-director-check.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Time line credits and biography – About Maria Friedman". Aboutmaria.com. 19 March 1960. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  3. ^ Maria Friedman (9 December 2005). "Maria Friedman Q&A". Broadway.com (Interview: transcript). Interviewed by David Drake. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
  4. ^ "Radio interview Woman's Hour – About Maria Friedman". Aboutmaria.com. 25 April 2002. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  5. ^ Theatre Features. "Sonia Friedman: 'There's nothing wrong with wearing pretty clothes and lipstick – and still being a strong woman'". Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  6. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B12.
  7. ^ https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2017/sonia-friedman-bags-producer-year-hat-trick-stage-awards/
  8. ^ https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2017/the-stage-100-harry-potter-producer-sonia-friedman-claims-top-spot-in-2017-theatre-power-list/
  9. ^ https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2017/olivier-awards-2017-nominations-in-numbers/
  10. ^ http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/whatsonstage-awards-critical-public-vote-2018_45868.html

External links

  • Sonia Friedman Productions
  • Out of Joint Theatre
  • Gardner, Lyn (19 May 2006). "The Guardian profile: Sonia Friedman". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  • Sonia Friedman on IMDb
  • "Sonia Friedman in London". The Guardian. 24 June 2006. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  • Shoard, Catherine (31 August 2004). "Backstage controller". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
  • Olivier Awards
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