In this first of a series of exclusive interviews with Producers and Creatives from the Australian Premiere Production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Margaret Throsby interviews Sonia Friedman & Colin Callender, Producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They discuss the conception of the show, exploring uncharted areas of J.K. Rowling’s story, their dream team, first time theatregoers and a producer’s instinct.
Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP) is a West End and Broadway production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in London and New York. Since 1990, SFP has developed, initiated and produced over 160 new productions and together they have won a staggering 48 Olivier Awards including a record-breaking 14 at the 2014 Awards. In 2017, SFP won 9 Olivier Awards for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the most awards ever received by a single production in Oliviers’ history. The company has also won 24 Tony® Awards and 2 BAFTAS. In 2017, Sonia Friedman OBE was awarded ‘Producer of the Year’ at the Stage Awards for the third year in a row as well as taking the number one spot in ‘The Stage 100’, becoming the first number one in the history of the compilation not to own or operate West End theatres and the first solo woman for almost 20 years. In 2018, Friedman was awarded the Equity Services to Theatre Award at the 18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, and was featured in TIME100, Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018.
Colin Callender is an award-winning theatre, television and film producer who founded the New York and London production company Playground LLC in 2012. Playground’s recent Broadway productions include: Nora Ephron’s Tony® nominated Lucky Guy, Tony nominated Casa Valentina, the Tony Award®-winning revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and many more. Callender is a Trustee of the New York Public Theater and the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours list for his services to British film, theatre and television in the US.