With a Sorting Hat Ceremony and Snitch Hunt in Singapore, a guest appearance from the Quidditch World Cup holders – the Australian Dropbears – in Sydney, and J.K. Rowling commanding the red carpet in London, the new Harry Potter adventure revealed itself around the globe this weekend.
Well, sort of. The eighth volume in the wizard’s saga - “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” – is a book that isn’t quite a book.
The publication is the script of a play that opened to five-star reviews and gasps of wonder from its London audience and it marks the end of the journey for Harry and his chums, creator Rowling said at the premiere.
Fans crowded bookstores from Britain to Auckland for the release of the new story, just hours after the play thrilled its all-star audience with swishing capes, wraiths floating overhead and actors seemingly vanishing into thin air.
Playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany based their drama on Rowling’s idea of Harry’s later life: it picks up the story 19 years after the last book. The former boy wizard is now a 37-year-old employee of the Ministry of Magic and father-of-three, and there will be no more spoilers here.
Their play runs over five hours, split into two parts, is sold out until next May. Rowling told the audience that it may travel to Broadway next year, and then tour the world.
She praised the play: “It chimed perfectly with the material I had about the next generation and I could see it would work perfectly,” she said. “So, I never wanted to write another novel, but this will give the fans something special.”
There’s more not-quite-Harry on the way. November sees the movie version of Rowling’s spinoff book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.
But Pokemon Go creators Niantic quickly squashed an online rumour that they were planning a Potter app. Pity: if ever there was a place to augment reality, it would have to be Rowling’s fictional universe.