Theater Round-Up: Jack Thorne Treated for Possible Coronavirus, Sonia Friedman Calls Theatre Industry Resilient

Apr 05, 2020

Posted by: Dawn Johnson

Actor Interviews, Anthony Boyle, Broadway, Fandom, Fans, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, HP Cast, Interviews, Jack Thorne, News, Noma Dumezweni, Radcliffe, Round-Up, Sonia Friedman, Television Programmes, Theater, Theater Round-Up, West End

Theater news has slowed since the spread of the coronavirus led to theater closings around the world, however, there are a few notable stories for theater fans and fans of Potter alums. Jack Thorne tweeted last week that he is being treated for a possible case of the coronavirus, and producer Sonia Friedman penned an op-ed on the resilience of the theatrical arts, calling everyone to be ready for the hard but rewarding work of getting the industry back on its feet.

Productions specifically affected by the response to the virus included Daniel Radcliffe’s Endgame, which was closed before the end of its run, and Noma Dumezweni’s television series The Undoing, which has been delayed to the fall. Not everything is on hold, though; Anthony Boyle’s series The Plot Against America continues to air on HBO, and he spoke with Decider about the project recently.

Read on for more details.

Jack Thorne Receiving Treatment for Possible Covid-19


Deadline reported Wednesday that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne is being treated as though he has coronavirus. Though he has not been tested due to the testing procedure in place in the UK, he is being closely monitored by his health care providers because his asthma puts him at “increased risk.”

He tweeted Monday:

“Seem to have Covid, which is not reacting great with my asthma. Amazing treatment from my GP over the phone, taking the time to give me all sorts of tests THEN consulting with a colleague before prescribing. Feel like I’ve been run over by an elephant but in total awe of the NHS.”

Thorne then shared an encouraging update with followers on Wednesday, tweeting:

“Feeling better after two days of steroids. Still v tired, but the elephant has been replaced by a mountain lion. Of course it could not be Covid (wish we had Germany’s resources) in which case this is not reassuring to anyone. But, for me, at this moment, the drugs have worked.”

Potter fans send their best and raise their wands in hopes Thorne will continue to improve under the prescribed regimen and be back in good health very soon!

Read the full Deadline report here.

Sonia Friedman Calls British Theatre Industry Resilient


Producer extraordinaire Sonia Friedman took pen in hand to reflect on the closure of theatres around the world. From Broadway to San Francisco to Australia and London’s West End, theatres have taken necessary and practical measures in the present circumstances, shutting down stage productions to the disappointment of crew, acting companies and theater-goers alike.

Friedman knows these extreme measures were warranted but also knows it will be a long road going forward. The theatre community is tight-knit and strong, possessing the hard-won knack for enduring through difficult times, but it will not be easily accomplished alone. She noted:

“British theatre will bounce back from this, but it will take time and it will need support. Ours is a resourceful and resilient art form, but just as shows don’t simply stop, they can’t simply start up again on the other side either. Our world has changed and it will not simply change back.

“Because, for theatre, an extended closure is not just a pause or a period of hibernation. We won’t be in a position to pick up where we left off. Normal service won’t resume straight away. The nature of our business means we can’t store stock to sell next summer or fire up production lines once this is over. Shows will need re-rehearsing and companies reforming. Audiences will need encouraging back into theatres and advances will have to be rebuilt. Tourism will take a long time to recover. All this as investors are being hit by a global slowdown.”

Friedman went on to add:

“We will all have to work together – producers and theatre owners, artists and agents, backstage and front-of-house staff – with the single objective to get our beloved industry back on its feet as soon as possible.”

And it is possible. Friedman seems confident of this. The stage will endure. Curtains will open again. People will unite once more in these houses that prize the intimate shared experience of love and laughter, tragedy and satire, life as it is and could be. She reasons, “The world may have changed, but people have not.”

So take her plea to heart, theatre fans. Be ready to fill those seats again when the time comes. Play your part even as they play theirs.

Read Friedman’s full article for the here.

The Old Vic and Digital Theatre to Screen Dan Radcliffe’s Endgame Online


In the wake of the West End’s closing, Daniel Radcliffe’s Endgame ended its run two weeks early. However, according to Broadway World, the Old Vic has partnered with Digital Theatre to screen the production online for ticket-holders whose scheduled performances were cancelled.

The first online screening was streamed on April 1. Subsequent screenings will be held on April 9, 17 and 25.

Read more from Broadway World here.

Noma Dumezweni’s The Undoing Premiere Delayed to the Fall


The reach of the coronavirus extends beyond the theatre industry as film and television productions have also shut down and delayed premieres. Among those affected is HBO’s upcoming series The Undoing, starring Cursed Child’s Noma Dumezweni, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland. According to Cadillac News, HBO has moved the premiere to an undisclosed date in the fall.

Dumezweni plays Haley Fitzgerald in the drama which “sees the unraveling of a family with a seemingly perfect life when a violent death and chain of revelations upends their day-to-day world.” 

Though there are no specifics about when fans can expect to tune in to the premiere of the limited series, HBO did release two new teaser trailers to tide them over. Watch the new trailers below!

Anthony Boyle Talks HBO’s The Plot Against America


HBO’s The Plot Against America is already underway, currently airing episodes of the dark remake of WWII American history. Anthony Boyle, best known for originating the role of Scorpius Malfoy in the London production of Cursed Child, plays the New Jersey native Alvin Levin, a Jew who joins Canadian forces in the fight against Nazi Germany.

Boyle spoke with Decider about the series, his first major television project, and about how his role in Cursed Child opened the door for everything that came next, reflecting:

“Well, it was my first job out of drama school. I had to leave school like a year early to do it. My life is pre- and post-Potter really, like it just changed my life completely. Yeah, I owe everything to that job. You know it was just such an incredible, formative experience We’d done it for 15 months in the West End and then 15 months over here and it was where the casting director Alexa Fogel, who cast this, saw me in that on Broadway and then, um, sort of how I got this.”

He may have been cast on the merits of his performance in Cursed Child, but those acting skills were much needed as Boyle, who’s Irish, was tasked with believably inhabiting an entirely different period and ethnicity. Asked to consider the hardest part of adopting the New Jersey accent and very specific Jewish cultural identity, he mused:

“I never thought it was the hardest part. I always just thought it was so fascinating and interesting, like it was a culture that I didn’t know much about before I came to America. And then a lot of the people that I met on Broadway were Jewish and when I was sick they’d give me matzo ball soup. You know, I really found it to be such a warm culture, very similar to Irish, very family-based. So when it came to play someone who was Jewish, I don’t know, I sort of looked at the accent and sort of looked at people of that time, but it wasn’t really the focus really wasn’t on them being Jewish.”

Read the full Decider article with Anthony Boyle here, and tune in to HBO tomorrow to view the fourth episode in the limited series!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.