Plans for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child play to go to Broadway and beyond


As Harry Potter And The Cursed Child opens in London's West End, author JK Rowling has revealed the production could soon go global.

Part one of the play premiered at the Palace Theatre on Saturday afternoon, with part two due to follow on Saturday evening.

The play script will also be released at midnight, so fans unable to make it to the theatre will get a chance to find out what happens next to Harry Potter and his friends.

Writer JK Rowling poses for photographers (Yui Mok/PA)

Speaking on the red carpet, where she wore winged high heels as a nod to the wizarding world, Rowling said the play could be destined for Broadway and beyond.

Asked about Broadway plans, she told reporters: "I'd love it to go wider than that. I'd like as many Potter fans to see it as possible."

Theatre producer Sonia Friedman said "many countries" could get a chance to see the play in future years.

The winged shoes of writer JK Rowling (Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

She said: "Hopefully more than America, hopefully many countries at some point will get to see it. But it's a big piece of theatre, it's a big endeavour, you can't just turn it around overnight. But if everything goes to plan over the years, we will get there."

As the play opened following nearly eight weeks of previews, it drew whoops, applause and gasps of shock from the audience as magic appeared to unfold on-stage.

The play also features plenty of twists and surprises, although fans have been asked to keep plot details secret - with #KeepTheSecrets badges handed to audience members on their way out.

Palace Theatre in central London, with a sign for the new Harry Potter And The Cursed Child production (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Rowling said she had been impressed that fans had kept details under wraps.

She said: "It is the most extraordinary fandom so I'm kind of not surprised they didn't want to spoil it for each other but I'm so happy we got here without ruining it."

The Harry Potter author highlighted the importance of the Friday 40, a chance for people without tickets to win seats at low prices. "What we would really like most of all is to bring people in who have never been to the theatre before," she said.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child stars (Manuel Harlan)

"I would be so proud to think that kids from my kind of background, who didn't come from particularly theatre- going families, learn what theatre is about through this show. That would be an incredible thing."

Attending the gala with his family, mayor of London Sadiq Khan spoke of his pride that the play was launching in the capital.

He said: "Many thanks to JK Rowling for ensuring the premiere is here", and added that he was a "big fan" of Harry Potter, saying: "What's important is that the world premiere is here in London, and we should be really proud."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya Khan (Yui Mok/PA)

Director John Tiffany also thanked fans for keeping the secrets so far, comparing sharing plot details with opening children's Christmas presents in November: "Why would you do that?"

Set 19 years after the events of the seventh and final book, The Cursed Child brings back Harry Potter, now grown up and an employee at the ministry of magic.

Jamie Parker as Harry Potter (Manuel Harlan/PA)

Harry and his wife Ginny Weasley wave off their youngest son Albus Severus to their old wizarding school, Hogwarts - but once there, Albus struggles with the weight of his family legacy and goes to extreme and dangerous lengths to right the wrongs of the past.

Reviews have been glowing, with Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish saying that "British theatre hasn't known anything like it for decades".

The two-part play stretches over five hours and was co-devised by Rowling, written by Jack Thorne and directed by Tiffany.