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Top theatre producer picks up gong ‘in the memory of her family’

Wednesday, 14 June 2023

A theatre producer who picked up a gong at Buckingham Palace said she works hard in memory of her family, who travelled from Russia and escaped the Nazis.

Sonia Friedman, whose production company is behind some of the biggest shows in the West End and on Broadway, said her family “sacrificed a huge amount”.

She found out about the honour around the time she learned her brother, violinist and artist Richard Friedman, was going to die.

“And my brother is the reason that I do what I do, because he was my inspiration when I was growing up – to be creative and to storytell and to use my imagination,” she said after getting her award on Tuesday.

Ms Friedman, who has been made a CBE for services to theatre, said: “This will sound cliched but it is the truth, which is I come from a Russian immigrant refugee family who came here with nothing.

“And they sacrificed a huge amount in order for my generation to exist, my generation of siblings, and I do it for them. I do it for their memory.

“And it’s a legacy that, at the end of my life, I can have won many, many Oliviers or Tonys but I will have something that will carry through for my memory, particularly as I don’t have children.

“It’s a confirmation that I did something in the memory of the family who travelled from Russia, escaped the Nazis, to allow me to do this.”

Ms Friedman, whose company produced the hit play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, is currently working on the upcoming play Stranger Things: The First Shadow.

Read the full Evening Standard article here. 

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