Harry Potter is making his stage debut in London in just a few short weeks.
To be clear, that’s the character, not the actor who portrayed him, Daniel Radcliffe — he, coincidentally, also made his stage debut in London (during a 2007 production of Equus).
The countdown is on to the June 7 audience previews for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play written by Jack Thorne based on an original new story by Thorne, John Tiffany, and Potter mastermind J.K. Rowling. Set 19 years after the events of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the new story finds Harry as “an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children,” according to a description on the play’s official website.
With just weeks to go, Rowling, in a video posted on the play’s Twitter account giving a sneak peek into rehearsals on April 18, admits she’s “excited…nervous,” about the previews, which will be followed up by the play’s world premiere scheduled for July 30 — just in time for Harry’s July 31 birthday.
— Harry Potter Play (@HPPlayLDN) April 22, 2016
“It’s a special thing,” Rowling says, chatting with Thorne and Tiffany, adding that she hopes “to keep our secrets” about the production and story, the script for which will be released as a book on July 31. “It’s such an incredible theatrical experience that I’d love for us to be able to surprise people and move people in the natural way that a story should surprise and move people.”
Part of that story involves Harry’s youngest son, Albus (that’s not one of the secrets — he, named of course for Professor Dumbledore, was introduced at the end of the final book and movie), struggling with his family legacy. “As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places,” the description adds.