'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Play to Open in London in 2016


J.K. Rowling's (Neil Blair, Kleinberg Lopez) first post-"Harry Potter" novel, "The Casual Vacancy," will be adapted by the BBC as a series.

J.K. Rowling announces the news on Twitter and drops some hints about the project.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on Friday surprised her fans by announcing a Potter play that will open in London in 2016 and tell an original story.

She tweeted Friday that it was the 18th anniversary of the publication of the first Potter book in the U.K.

"I'm also very excited to confirm today that a new play called Harry Potter and the #CursedChild will be opening in London next year," she added. "It will tell a new story, which is the result of a collaboration between writer Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and myself."

The play will be produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

Rowling also provided some additional tidbits. "I don't want to say too much more, because I don't want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans," she said. "However, I can say that it is not a prequel!"

The author later added: "To answer one inevitable (and reasonable!) question  why isn't #CursedChild a new novel?  I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story."

Concluded Rowling: "I've had countless offers to extend Harry's story over the years, but Jack, John and Sonia Friedman are a dream team! It has been a huge pleasure to share with them (and soon, with you!) this untold part of Harry's story." 

Rowling used the hashtag CursedChild throughout her tweets, and the project quickly became a trending topic.

Rowling’s website said that the play would have its world premiere at London’s Palace Theatre in the summer of 2016. Tickets will go on sale this fall.

The theater's site said that the play would "explore the back story leading up to Harry’s parents untimely death at the hands of Lord Voldemort." Casting decisions have yet to be announced.

Thorne has written for theater and such TV shows as Skins and Shameless. Tiffany has directed the likes of Black Watch and Once. In 2012, he won a Tony Award for best direction of a musical for his work on Once.

Friedman has run her own theater company, Sonia Friedman Productions, since 2002. Friedman has collaborated with Callender’s Playground on Wolf Hall and upcoming BBC and Starz drama The Dresser, starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins.

Twitter: @georgszalai