In a post on her website Pottermore, Rowling called the two-part play ”the official eighth Potter story and the first to be presented on stage”.
Harry Potter creator JK Rowling (Evan Agostini/Invision/PA)
A synopsis for the play revealed that it will focus on Harry, now a frazzled civil servant at the Ministry of Magic, and his middle child, Albus Severus, as he struggles with his “family legacy” and undoubtedly a name imbued with the history of two of Hogwarts’ former headmasters.
The synopsis reads: “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
“While Harry 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. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
— Pottermore (@pottermore) October 22, 2015
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be the first time Harry’s life has been officially explored since he waved off his eldest children, James Sirius and Albus Severus, from King’s Cross’s Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
It is written by Jack Thorne in collaboration with JK Rowling and will be directed by Olivier and Tony award-winner John Tiffany.
The trio said: “It is very exciting to explore Harry’s world in a brand new way through the live form of theatre. Collaborating on this story is exhilarating for all of us and we can’t wait to present the eighth story at the Palace Theatre next summer.”
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in the films (Warner Bros)
Rowling added, “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.”
The news it is a sequel comes after JK Rowling was forced to deny multiple times on Twitter that the show would be a prequel to the books.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 23, 2015
Official artwork for the plays was revealed, featuring a boy sitting inside a nest shaped like a Golden Snitch.
The play has been split into two parts due to the “epic nature of the story” and will feature a cast of more than 30 actors. The two parts can either be seen on the same day or on consecutive days.
Despite music by Imogen Heap, orchestration by Martin Lowe and special effects by Jeremy Chernick, The Cursed Child will not be a musical.
It will fly into London’s West End in the summer of 2016, with tickets on sale for those with priority booking from 11.00am on October 28 and on general sale from 11am on October 30.