Today the much-anticipated two-part play opens to the general public at London’s Palace Theatre. The play, set nineteen years after we left off in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, follows Harry Potter, now an overworked Ministry of Magic official, and his son Albus Severus Potter.

There's a book, too.

To coincide with the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a published version of the play is set to be released in bookstores across the world at midnight. This version, however, is not a novelization of the play, but a straight script of the play’s dialogue: not the most popular – or the easiest – reading medium.

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JK Rowling’s involvement in shaping the plot of the play alongside director John Tiffany and playwright Jack Thorne has been confirmed, but she has openly stated that she did not write the actual play itself. This fact doesn’t seem to have dissuaded hardcore Potter fans, though, as bookstores across the globe look set to sell out their copies, even planning Harry Potter-themed festivities to celebrate the occasion.  Scholastic, the US publisher of JK Rowling, has printed 4.5 million copies of the book. It’s an astoundingly large order, but paltry in comparison to the 12 million copies published of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The Cursed Child is already a raving success.

The play, originally scheduled to run until the 27th of May 2017, has experienced a through-the-roof audience demand, and has thus just released a new block of 250,000 tickets, and an extended lot of performances until the 10th of December 2017.

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The Palace Theatre in London hosts 1,400 seats over four levels – with 300 of these seats out of every performance assured to go for £20 in order to make the play more accessible to the wider public.

Reception of the play has been almost unanimously positive, with critics praising it as both a cohesive continuation of the Potter saga as well as a unique entity in its own right. Actor Anthony Boyle has received particular acclaim for his portrayal of Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Draco Malfoy, with famed theatre critic Matt Trueman stating that it’s Boyle that “truly stands out” and is “bound to be a new fan favourite”.

Distributed at the end of each performance of The Cursed Child are badges that encourage viewers to “#keepthesecret” regarding plot developments, and it seems to have worked thus far – reviewers have remained coy and tight-lipped in their observations. So if you want to see what all the fuss is about, it looks as if you’ll just have to find out for yourself. #Fiction #Show #Books