Sonia Friedman Tops “Stage” 100 Theater Power List
2016 was a good year for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child producer Sonia Friedman, with nominations and awards rolling in left, right, and center. More good news has arrived this month, in the form of the Stage 100 list, featuring 100 of the most powerful people in British theater.
The Stage 100 reflects the 100 most influential people working in the theatre and performing arts industry. It is considered from the point of view of [t]he Stage as a trade publication and so focuses on theatre both as a business and an art form. Inclusion within the list and ranking is weighted towards achievements in the past 12 months, but also takes into account continuous achievement. The aim of the list is to reflect the astonishing breadth of the theatre industry.
It seems that Sonia Friedman can do no wrong – the producer has topped the list, moving up from last year’s second place.
Alistair Smith, the editor of the Stage, said,
Sonia Friedman has enjoyed a number of notable hits in recent years – including Jerusalem, starring Mark Rylance, and The Book of Mormon – but in 2016, she went stratospheric.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was always likely to be a licence to print money. What has made it really special was that Friedman and her fellow creatives resisted the temptation to treat the production as a cash cow and created something truly magical, original and – above all – theatrical.
In addition to creating the year’s most popular play, she also has a fair claim to having produced 2016’s most anticipated musical in Dreamgirls. She is a phenomenon and now undisputed Queen of Theatreland.
The producer is
the first woman to top [t]he Stage 100 list since 1998. In 1998, Stoll Moss Theatres boss Janet Holmes a Court was number one. At that time, Stoll Moss was the West End’s leading theatre operator.
On the accolade, Friedman commented,
This is an amazing recognition of the extraordinary people I have been privileged to work with over the year, and also of my sensational team at SFP who helped me produce / co produce and develop over 20 shows in 2016 and who are already preparing for an even busier 2017. I am very grateful to [t]he Stage for this honour and feel extremely lucky to do a job I love so much and to have had such a stimulating and creatively diverse year. Thank you!
Many other names from Cursed Child appear on the list.
Also on the list is Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart), who, at No. 18, is the highest placed actor on the list.
You can find out more about the list here.
Congratulations to all on the list, and particularly Sonia Friedman for taking the top spot – very well deserved!