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Harry Potter play to open on London stage in summer 2016

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A new play picking up the story of Harry Potter where the seventh and final volume of J.K. Rowling's series of books left off is to open in London's West End theatre district next summer.

[LONDON] A new play picking up the story of Harry Potter where the seventh and final volume of J.K. Rowling's series of books left off is to open in London's West End theatre district next summer. "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", based on an original tale part-written by Rowling, will feature a grown-up Harry, now working for the Ministry of Magic, in a storyline in which past and present "fuse ominously", publicists for the production said on Friday.

The play will be in two parts which are intended to be seen in order on the same day, or on two consecutive evenings. An initial 16 weeks of performances will go on sale in the first booking period, which starts on Oc. 30.

Commercial success for the venture looks extremely likely as so far everything connected to Harry Potter has turned to gold. Rowling's books have sold over 450 million copies and been translated into 78 languages, while the film franchise based on the books broke box office records.

The new story was a collaboration between Rowling, scriptwriter Jack Thorne and theatre director John Tiffany, who has won awards in London and New York for his work on the musical "Once". "The story only exists because the right group of people came together with a brilliant idea about how to present Harry Potter on stage," Rowling was quoted as saying in a statement from the publicists. "I'm confident that when audiences see 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' they will understand why we chose to tell the story in this way." The production will open at the Palace Theatre on July 30, with both parts being performed that day. Reduced price previews will start on June 7. Tickets go on sale online at 11:00 GMT on Oct.

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