Anyone who has enjoyed a straight play in the West End over the past decade, perhaps with some well-judged star casting, will almost certainly have seen something from Sonia Friedman Productions. Catherine Tate and David Tennant in Much Ado about Nothing? Yes. Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss in The Children's Hour? Yup. Kristin Scott Thomas in Betrayal? That too. Friedman has, deservedly, become known as one of the premier purveyors of quality work in London's commercial theatre sector and as I sit in her cosy office above the Duke of York's theatre, looking at the framed production posters on the wall, I'm momentarily confused as to which of her current or future shows I'm here to talk about. Perhaps it's Pinter's Old Times, which opens in January, again starring Scott Thomas. Or the behemoth that is the multi-Tony-Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon, launching in February. But then Mark Rylance's face glowering from the poster of Jerusalem reminds me: it's a double bill of Shakespeare, with Rylance starring as both the titular Richard III and Olivia in Twelfth Night.
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