On the 30th June 1997, an unknown debut author published her first book about a young orphaned wizard called Harry Potter.
Nineteen years later, Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling are now two of the most recognisable names in the Western world. They have won many awards and broken worldwide book-selling records.
They are predicted to break another set of records with the fast approaching opening night for the new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Already, a record breaking 175 000 tickets have been sold for the play in just 24 hours.
Based on a new story by J.K. Rowling, written by playwright Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany, the play picks up where the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off – with an adult Harry, Hermione and Ron waving off their children (Albus and Rose) as they catch the Hogwart’s Express to school for the very first time.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Twitter fans will have spotted the Pottermania that exploded on the 1st September last year when J.K. tweeted good luck to James S. Potter (Harry & Ginny’s eldest son) who was starting his first year at Hogwarts. Rowling was inundated with requests for more.
She later told Sarah Crompton of The Observer, that she carries “Harry Potter’s world around in my head all the time“.
Opening night is at the Palace Theatre , London on the 30th July. The Special Rehearsal Edition of the play script will be released at 10am EST on the 31st July (which is incidentally the date of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays).
The Special Rehearsal Edition is based on the script that the production team took into its preview period (which started 7th June). From this time until the end of July, small changes may be made to the original script.
Audiences at the preview nights have been sworn to secrecy and given #keepthesecrets badges.
Such is the power of Pottermania and J.K. Rowling, nothing has been leaked so far.
And when I say preview nights, I do mean nights – with a plural!
Due to “the epic nature of the story” the play will be performed over two sessions (matinee & evening or two consecutive evenings) according to the Harry Potter the Play website.
A Definitive Collector’s Edition will be published at a later (to be announced) date that will reflect any such changes.
To date, audience responses have been glowing, as reported in the English papers:
The Guardian’s Ben Quinn “The first fans to witness the theatrical adaption of the boy wizard’s tale emerged blinking, beaming and giving the thumbs up.”
The Telegraph’s Hannah Furness “The audience came wanting magic and they got in spades.”
The Mirror’s Clare Fitzsimons “Spells and hexes combined with laughs and drama mean Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be every bit the hit everyone expects.”
The New York Times “The three main characters remained true to their younger selves… The audience cannot be more thrilled or more appreciative or more ready to be caught up in the spirit of the undertaking.”
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (hardback) will be sold in Australia at 10am on the 31st July 2016 for RRP $45.
Pre-orders are now being taken by our friendly staff at Brays Books.