Sonia Friedman

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Sonia Friedman
Born Sonia Anne Primrose Freedman
April 1965 (age 52)
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. She is the younger sister of director/actress/singer Maria Friedman, violinist Richard Friedman and Dr Sarah Beecham. Her younger brother, Ben, is a television director (currently[when?] director / producer of The Great British Bake Off). On 27 January 2017 Sonia 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.

Early life[edit]

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.

Professional career[edit]

Theatre Producer[edit]

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, Sonia Friedman won producer of the year at The Stage Awards for a third year (becoming the first person to win the award three times) and was listed as no.1 on the 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.

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.

TV Producer[edit]

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[edit]

TV credits[edit]

Awards[edit]

BAFTA Television Awards[edit]

  • Wolf Hall, Best Drama Series, 2016

Tony Awards[edit]

  • 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 *
  • Death of a Salesman, Best Revival of a Play, 2012 *
  • The Book of Mormon, Best Musical, 2011 *
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Best Revival of a Musical, 2010
  • The Norman Conquests, Best Revival of a Play, 2009
  • Boeing-Boeing, Best Revival of a Play, 2008
    * = co producer

Olivier Awards[edit]

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Best New Play, 2017
  • Sunny Afternoon, Best New Musical, 2015
  • King Charles III, Best New Play, 2015
  • The Book of Mormon, Best New Musical, 2014
  • Chimerica, Best New Play, 2014
  • Merrily We Roll Along, Best Musical Revival, 2014
  • Ghosts, Best Revival, 2014
  • Legally Blonde, Best New Musical, 2011
  • The Mountaintop, Best New Play, 2010
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Best Musical Revival, 2009

Evening Standard Theatre Awards[edit]

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, Best Play, 2016
  • Jerusalem, Best Play, 2009
  • Home Place, by Brian Friel, Best Play, 2005

Drama Desk Awards[edit]

  • The Book of Mormon, Outstanding Musical, 2011
  • La Cage aux Folles, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, 2010
  • A View From the Bridge, Outstanding Revival of a Play, 2010
  • The Norman Conquests, Outstanding Revival of a Play, 2009
  • Boeing-Boeing, Outstanding Revival of a Play, 2008

Critics' Circle Theatre Awards[edit]

  • 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
  • Clybourne Park, Best New Play, 2011
  • Jerusalem, Best New Play, 2010
  • La Cage Aux Folles, Best Musical, 2009

Whatsonstage.com Awards[edit]

The Stage Awards[edit]

  • Producer of the Year, 2017
  • Producer of the Year, 2016
  • Producer of the Year, 2015

References[edit]

  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). Broadway.com (Interview: transcript). Interview with David Drake http://www.broadway.com/Maria-Friedman/broadway_news/522565. Retrieved 19 February 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  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. 


External links[edit]