Giants, hippogriffs, werewolves, elves and a ghost that lives in a toilet – Harry Potter fans have seen a lot. But the new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child “will be unlike anything people have seen before”, says JK Rowling.
The author says the stage, rather than the page, is “the perfect medium for the story” of Harry and Hermione’s eponymous son Albus Severus, “and once people have had this theatrical experience, they will understand why”.
Self-confessed theatre lover Rowling told the Guardian “I find it a seductive world – there is nothing like seeing an actor perform live. But I had never had anyone approach me or propose anything that excited me like this.”
The play, which catches up with Harry, Hermione, Ron and co 19 years after the events of the final Harry Potter book The Deathly Hallows – and focuses in particular on Harry and Ginny’s son Albus – is currently in the later stages of rehearsal and due to begin preview performances on 7th June before opening to the general public in July.
So how will it bring to life Rowling’s magical world on stage? Director John Tiffany suggests that while it is “absurdly ambitious theatrically” it will be less spectacular and more engrossing than the Potter movies.
“Not a bombastic spectacle that makes people sit back,” he said. “It’s hopefully something that pulls you in. It is absurdly ambitious theatrically but it’s also about the audience and the imagination, which is exactly what a novelist does as well.”
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child officially opens at the Palace Theatre London in July 2016, with preview performances from 7th June 2016