Harry Potter play script to be published by Little, Brown

Harry Potter play script to be published by Little, Brown

Little, Brown UK will publish the script of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter stage play in book form this July, along with Scholastic in the US. Pottermore, the J K Rowling Wizarding World digital platform, will simultaneously publish the e-book edition.

The script book of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II will be released at 00.01 GMT on 31st July (h/b, £20), the day after the play opens in London. The first edition of the book will be a special rehearsal version of the play, with the final "Definitive Collector’s Edition" to be released later in the year.

While Bloomsbury publishes the Harry Potter children's books in the UK, Little, Brown published J K Rowling's first adult title The Casual Vacancy in 2012, along with her crime novels written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith -The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014) and Career of Evil (2015).

David Shelley, CEO of Little, Brown Book Group said: “We are so thrilled to be publishing the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling and her team have received a huge number of appeals from fans who can't be in London to see the play and who would like to read the play in book format – and so we are absolutely delighted to be able to make it available for them.”

The play, written by Jack Thorne, is set 19 years after the end of the seventh book in the Harry Potter novel series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A synopsis, posted on Pottermore last October, said: "It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.”

The director is John Tiffany and the producer Sonia Friedman.

The publishing deal was struck by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership, acting on behalf of J K Rowling, with her publishers in the UK and the US.

The Blair Partnership said the decision to publish the script of the play was taken following “massive public demand”.

“Together the print and digital editions of the script book will allow the epic, eighth Harry Potter story to be read by those fans globally who may not be able to see the stage version in London,” it said.

The Blair Partnership also said a programme of new Harry Potter print and digital products will roll out "well into 2019", to include Warner Bros. licensed publishing relating to the film Harry Potter and the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be released in November.

Warner Bros. will reveal more about its licensed publishing programme in due course, The Blair Partnership said.

Neil Blair said: “2016 is a big year for the millions of Harry Potter fans around the world, with the release of the much anticipated play and film. We are working closely with our key publishing partners and with Pottermore to deliver titles that complement these new projects, whilst bringing new energy and excitement to J K Rowling’s Wizarding World publishing for new readers and existing fans alike.”

Bloomsbury, which publishes the seven Harry Potter novels, also announced further Harry Potter publishing plans today. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, so Bloomsbury will release four new editions of the book, with each edition representing one of the four Hogwarts houses.

It is also releasing new illustrated editions of the three Hogwarts Library books, starting with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in autumn 2017, followed by The Tales of Beedle the Bard in 2018 and Quidditch Through the Ages in 2019.

The illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, with artwork by Jim Kay, which will be out in October this year.