When we last saw Harry Potter at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2, he was an adult, seeing off his own son to Hogwarts from King’s Cross’ Platform 9 3/4. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child will pick up from there. Details were revealed today about the stage play that’s based on a story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and comes from Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.
It was previously said that the play would fill in Harry’s untold story while there was some thought this might be a prequel. The production today confirmed it’s a continuation in what’s being referred to as the eighth part of the series.
This is just one project that’s expected to again ignite Pottermania — and the Potter money-minting machine — next year. After the West End production begins in summer, Warner Bros releases new Wizarding World entry Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them in November.
That spinoff film picks up 70 years before the first Harry Potter. The stage story will start 19 years after Harry and the gang left Hogwarts. He’s now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While he 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. (Refresher: At the end of Deathly Hallows, Albus Severus asks his dad, “What if I am put in Slytherin?”) As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Much as the final tome of Rowling’s boy wizard book series was split into two parts for its big-screen transfer, the latest Harry Potter installment is being broken up for the stage — but there won’t be a year separating their release. Cursed Child is set to open at the West End’s Palace Theatre in summer 2016, unfolding in two parts, which are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening), or on two consecutive evenings.
Previews start on June 7 with the opening performances of Part One and Part Two on July 30. The production said today that on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays there will be a matinee performance of Part One and an evening performance of Part Two. For the initial on-sale period, one ticket will automatically secure the same seat for both halves on the same day. On Thursdays, there will be an evening performance of Part One and on Fridays an evening performance of Part Two. On those days, tickets to each part can be bought together or separately. Got that?
Rowling said of the play that’s written by Thorne and directed by Olivier and Tony winner Tiffany, “The story only exists because the right group of people came together with a brilliant idea about how to present Harry Potter on stage. I’m confident that when audiences see Harry Potter And The Cursed Child they will understand why we chose to tell this story in this way.”
Friedman and Callender call the play an “epic story of love, courage, adventure and the power of the imagination.”