John Tiffany Speaks Out About Shock of OBE Nomination
He may already have a Tony and an Olivier Award under his belt, but John Tiffany, the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, never considered an OBE possible for a man coming from a working-class family.
Tiffany was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to drama in the 2018 New Year’s honors after Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had a critically acclaimed run on the West End, with a record-breaking 11 nominations in the Olivier Awards and Tiffany himself winning the award for Best Director.
As reported by the Irish Independent he dedicated the award to his childhood community of Huddersfield, a large town in West Yorkshire.
For the community there, everyone who has supported me, this is for them. It’s just a great thing for them to see. At the end of the day, we are all made of our teachers. Someone who encourages us. I kind of feel like I am taking this for them.
Tiffany wasn’t always set on a career in theater. It was only after being inspired by the City of Culture festival in Glasgow that he switched from studying biology to drama and classics, despite finding the very idea of working within drama terrifying.
Tiffany admits some initial hesitation about accepting the award, though.
I never saw it coming. Obviously I’ve got issues with the word ‘empire’. I admit I maybe hesitated for a bit, but then I spoke to my mate Paul Flynn [a fellow Yorkshireman] and he said I had to take it because people like us, who come from the places we do, don’t get offered these things. It’s really important. And in some ways I think it would have been a smack in the face to everyone who has supported, nurtured and encouraged me if I didn’t accept it.
JK Rowling has been said to be delighted by the news of his award.
She’s a good pal and she was over the moon. Last time I saw her was [at] a Halloween party [that] she has every year in Scotland – she was over the moon.
However, there is one mystery that survives: Who nominated Tiffany in the first place?
I’ve asked all the people I thought it could be and they have said it wasn’t them. So I have absolutely no idea.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child officially opens on Broadway on April 25, 2018, at the Lyric Theatre. Do you have your tickets yet?