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JK Rowling bids farewell to Harry Potter

Books & Poetry

A new Harry Potter play that’s opened to swooning reviews and delighted gasps from the audience marks the end of the journey for the beloved boy wizard, his creator JK Rowling says.

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The play had its world premiere at London’s West End on Saturday night.

Billed as the eighth instalment in the series, the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and a book based on its script have helped awaken a new wave of Pottermania five years since the previous episode was made into a movie.

Throngs of fans crowded bookstores for the release of the book, hours after the play dazzled theatre-goers with swishing capes, billowy wraiths floating overhead and illusionist tricks of actors appearing to vanish into thin air.

Asked if the book and play heralded a new phase of stories, Rowling said: “No, no.

“He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done.

“This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realised so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

Rowling later appeared on stage during a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Fans have queued for copies of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'. Photo: PA

Fans have queued for copies of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. Photo: PA

Based on a story by Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, Cursed Child picks up the story 19 years later, featuring Potter as a 37-year-old overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic and father of three.

The play, a marathon affair running over five hours and split into two parts, is sold out through May 2017. Enthusiasts from around the world queued outside the ornate Palace Theatre for a glimpse of Rowling and the cast of the production.

Many in attendance at the show said it lived up to its billing in reviews as a thrilling theatrical spectacle, with deft stagecraft that drew audible gasps at times.

-Reuters

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