Harry Potter's story to continue in a play

LONDON • A new play that opens in London next summer will pick up the story of Harry Potter where the seventh and final volume of J.K. Rowling's saga left off, with a plot involving a grown-up Harry and his youngest son, Albus.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, which is based on a new story partly written by Rowling, opens at the Palace Theatre in London's West End district on July 30, the publicists said last Friday.

The story takes place 19 years after Harry's final showdown with the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, as described in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, the seventh book.

Now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic with three school-age children, Harry "grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs".

Meanwhile, Albus, named after Harry's old headmaster and mentor Albus Dumbledore, struggles with the weight of the family legacy.

The publicists said: "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."

The play will be in two parts to be seen in order on the same day or on two consecutive evenings. An initial 16 weeks of performances will go on sale in the first booking period, which starts on Friday.

Publicists have been releasing a drip of information over several months in what appears to be a strategy to tantalise fans.

Rowling's Harry Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies and been translated into 78 languages.

The eight-part film franchise, based on the books, grossed more than US$7 billion (S$9.7 billion) at worldwide box offices.

The new story is a collaboration between Rowling, scriptwriter Jack Thorne and theatre director John Tiffany. Rowling was quoted as saying: "I'm confident that when audiences see Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, they will understand why we chose to tell the story in this way."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2015, with the headline 'Harry Potter's story to continue in a play'. Print Edition | Subscribe