J.K. Rowling Hopes 'Harry Potter' Play Will Expand "Wider Than Broadway"
The eagerly anticipated 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' stage play finally premiered in London after a month of previews.
London's West End experienced one of the biggest days in its history on Saturday as the eagerly anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play finally officially opened after a month of previews.
Possibly unlike anything the U.K. capital's famed theater district had witnessed before, the premiere of the two-part play saw a red carpet snake around the Palace Theater, perched on Shaftesbury Avenue by a bustling crossroads. Protecting guests from the traffic — and perhaps the revelers in the nearby pubs and bars enjoying an unusually hot afternoon — large black boards were positioned around the theater and carpet, meaning most fans had to resort to telescopic poles or selfie sticks to get a shot of what was going on. Bag checks also were conducted as part of an unusually high security presence for a stage play (but just for the premiere).
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was undeniably the star attraction at the event, stopping to sign autographs. Jack Thorne, who co-wrote The Cursed Child, also was in attendance, alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Downton Abbey star Laura Carmichael.
Guests were given badges urging them to #KeepTheSecrets, and Rowling praised the many who had already seen the play but hadn't revealed the storyline.
"It's the most extraordinary fandom so I'm kind of not surprised, because they didn't want to spoil it for each other," she said, according to The Guardian. "I'm so happy we got here without ruining everything."
The author also discussed taking Cursed Child internationally, suggesting it could be destined for Broadway and beyond.
"I'd love it to go wider than [Broadway]," she said. "I'd like as many Potter fans to see it as possible."
The play's producer Sonia Friedman echoed Rowling's sentiments.
"Hopefully more than America, hopefully many countries at some point will get to see it," she said. "But it’s a big piece of theater, it’s a big endeavor — you can’t just turn it around overnight. But if everything goes to plan over the years, we will get there."
Set 19 years after the events of the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sees the famed boy wizard now as an overworked bureaucrat at the Ministry of Magic. The story centers on his son, Albus, a Hogwarts pupil who must struggle with the weight of his family's legacy.
Coinciding with the premiere, the book version of the play is being released at midnight (in time for both Harry Potter and Rowling's birthdays on Sunday), with stores around the U.K. and U.S. planning special events to mark the occasion.