It’s time to dust off your wizarding robes and raise your wands in celebration as Harry Potter is making a serious comeback in 2016. Aside from the highly anticipated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie (scheduled for November 18, 2016), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the two-part stage sequel to J.K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter book series, will be flying into the West End, London, this coming June.
News of a Harry Potter stage play being in development first broke in December 2013 and progress has moved along faster than a seeker catching a snitch over the past few months. The latest news, hot off the Daily Prophet, reveals that the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play will be published in book form immediately after its theatre debut - something which will undoubtedly satisfy all of the muggles that won’t be able to attend the event.
The script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II will be published by Pottermore (Rowling’s digital publishing platform) as an eBook but will also be available from Scholastic as a hardcover. Furthermore, there will be two editions – the first printing will be a “Special Rehearsal Edition” that reflects the script from the theatre's preview period, but that will later be replaced by the “Definitive Collector’s Edition”, which will present the finalised version of the play.
Pottermore further explained the reasons that these releases could potentially fill two slots on your bookshelf:
"Theatre previews allow the creative team the chance to rehearse and explore scenes further before a production’s official opening night. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens for previews several weeks before its official first performance on Saturday 30 July."
Cursed Child is based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, which was turned into a play by writer Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany. The story will follow up on the adventures of the golden trio, 19 years after the original series came to an end. If you're asking yourself, what's changed? The answer is A LOT. Ron and Hermione are now married with children, with Ron working for the Ministry of Magic and Hermione working as a lawyer in the department of Magical Law Enforcement. As we saw in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows epilogue, Harry – who is married to Ginny Weasley – is a father of three school-age children and works as head of the Auror division at the Ministry of Magic. The play will focus on his youngest son, Albus, who is struggling to cope with the family legacy.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book is just the first in a line of new releases being developed by J.K. Rowling's literary agency. Next year, we will see four new special edition publications of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, one for each Hogwarts house, to mark the 20th anniversary of the novel. In addition to a new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and formats/editions of the other Hogwarts Library books - Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will premiere on July 30, 2016 and the book will be released immediately after on, Harry Potter’s birthday, July 31, 2016.