June 29, 2015

Harry Potter takes to the London stage


A Harry Potter play is heading for London's West End next summer. © Oleg Golovnev / via Shutterstock

A Harry Potter play is heading for London’s West End next summer.
© Oleg Golovnev / via Shutterstock

J.K. Rowling, creator of Mrs. Norris and the Marauder’s Map, has been giving Harry Potter fans a lot to be happy about lately, from confirming the existence (or, you know, “existence”) of an American equivalent of Hogwarts to releasing several new stories on her fan content site Pottermore last week. On Friday, she made another big announcement, revealing via Twitter that a play based on the Potter series will hit the London stage next year.

Details about the play are still scarce, most of them coming straight from Rowling’s Twitter feed. After noting that it was the 18th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book’s publication in the UK, she says:

She continues to say that she’ll collaborate with writer Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany on the play, describing them as a dream team. While she won’t reveal any of the plot, she emphasizes that it is not a prequel, which makes sense, particularly if, as the title suggests, it’s specifically about Harry Potter; a play about his life before any awareness of magic would be kind of a downer. It is, rather, “an untold part of Harry’s story,” possibly taking place during a summer break or during the wizard’s rare breaks from fighting the forces of unfathomable evil.

Preemptively tackling what she terms an “inevitable (and reasonable!) question,” to wit, why the new story will be a play and not an eighth novel, Rowling promises, “I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story.” She also confirms that it is not a musical.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will premiere in London’s West End in the summer of 2016, at the Palace Theatre. Tickets will be on sale this fall, and anyone who’s eager not to miss out can sign up for a ticket info newsletter on the play’s official website.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.