Accio July 31! Forget Brexit or Trump, if you’re a Potterhead you’ll already know that the biggest news of 2016 is that a new book is coming out. But there has been some confusion amongst Muggles – is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a play or a novel? Is it part of the original series? Did J.K. Rowling write this one too? With so many pressing and logical questions, Young Post has compiled seven things you need to know about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child before it hits shelves in Hong Kong at 7.01am this Sunday.
Is it part of the original series?
Officially, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series. It takes place 19 years after the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry is now married with three children and works at the Ministry of Magic. It is the first Harry Potter story to be presented as a play.
Did J.K. Rowling write this one too?
The play is based on an original story by J.K. Rowling and written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. At the moment, it is being shown on stage in London, England. The story is one play split into two parts, creatively named Part One and Part Two, which are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings. The book that is being released on July 31 is the script version of the play, and the book consists of both Part One and Part Two.
What’s it about?
Harry is all grown up, but he is still struggling with his past, which he can’t quite seem to shake. It has always been tough being Harry Potter, and living with the legacy of his name and fame. Despite vanquishing Voldemort, Harry’s life isn’t any easier now, as he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic with three children to raise. His youngest son Albus is also finding it hard to live life in the shadow of his family’s famous history.
Where can I get my hands on it?
You can pre-order Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Amazon UK or Amazon US. On Amazon UK, the Kindle version costs £9.99 (HK$102), and the hardcover version, which ships to Hong Kong, is £10 (HK$102.50), but delivery costs HK$88. You can also pre-order on fishpond.com.hk for HK$192, with free delivery worldwide. Bookazine are holding a dawn release party at their Prince’s building branch in Central. The party starts at 7.01am and finishes at 10am and includes a costume party, drinks and nibbles. Admission is free. Bookazine are selling the paperback book for HK$250, which includes a HK$50 Bookazine voucher, but you don't need to pre-order or buy the book to attend the release party.
Can I watch the play in Hong Kong?
No, not yet anyway. At the moment, the play is only being premiered in London’s Palace Theatre in the West End. Even if you are a super fan and think it might be worth making a trip to London, tickets are mostly sold out right up to the May 2017 running time, although some extra seats go on sale at 1pm on Fridays for the following week.
Is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child connected to the Harry Potter movie that is coming out in November?
Not exactly. The Cursed Child is primarily a play, and the eighth in the Harry Potter series. The movie that is due out in November is called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and is the first in a trilogy of films. FBAWTFT is based on a textbook of the same name that is compulsory reading for Hogwarts students. It is set in New York in 1920. This means it is not a chronological part of the series and won’t star any of the original characters.
So who is the Cursed Child?
You’ll have to wait until July 31 to find out. In the spirit of not ruining things for everyone, J.K. Rowling has asked anyone who has seen the play to think of those lesser-fortunate than themselves, and not give away any spoilers. Rowling even started the hashtag #KeepTheSecrets which has gone viral and, of course, inevitably made everything much more magical.