Sonia Friedman, the producer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has spoken about how her own childhood influenced the storyline of the hit play, based on the series of books by JK Rowling.
The award winning Jewish producer went on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, and discussed the lack of a father figure in her early years. Leonard Friedman, her father, who was a Russian violinist, left her mother before she was born.
Ms Friedman, whose sister, Maria Friedman, is an actress and director, said that she and her co-producer “were very drawn to the notion of Harry as a dad given that he hadn't had parents of his own, and Jo [Rowling] loved that idea.
“I will never understand what it would be like to have a dad, and so I'm always looking for stories that might help me understand."
The producer said that she “never had abandonment issues, but certainly rejection, because you want to form a relationship with your father and my father was very prominent, a high-profile classical musician."
However, she said that she did not blame her father.
“I know that as a kid he had a very difficult life”, she said.
“His parents pushed him to be an extraordinary musician and he was told to put the music first, to put the art first."
She said that she had met with her father in 1994, shortly before his death.
"At the end of the supper he turned to me and said, 'Sonia, I'm very proud of you'," she said.
"Those were the last words he ever said to me. He never said I love you to me, but he did say I'm proud of you."