Exeposé News online (10 January 2014)
West End theatre-goers will soon have the chance to see a stage play based on the world famous Harry Potter franchise, expected to open in 2015.
After receiving “countless approaches” throughout the years regarding the production of a Harry Potter stage show, it has been announced that JK Rowling will co-produce a play based on the boy wizard.
The play will explore ‘the previously untold story of Harry Potter’s early years as an orphan and outcast’, prior to his years at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which are narrated in Rowling’s novels.
JK Rowling, herself an Exeter alumnus, released her first Harry Potter novel in 1997, since going on to release six more instalments in a series estimated to have sold in excess of 450 million copies.
Although not writing the script for this stage show herself, Rowling will co-produce the play alongside London and New York producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, as well as collaborating with a playwright. While not explicitly stated, it is understood that Warner Bros are to be involved in the show’s production.
This announcement of a Potter stage show follows Rowling’s revelation earlier this year that she would be making her screenwriting debut in a new Warner Bros film series based on the Harry Potter novels. Speaking about this venture, Rowling stated she would “only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about.”
Although previously having turned down numerous approaches concerning a stage play, Rowling described the proposal by Friedman and Callender as “the only one that really made sense to me, and which had the sensitivity, intensity and intimacy I thought appropriate for bringing Harry’s story to the stage”, adding that it was “very exciting to see this project moving onto the next phrase.”