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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child could soon go worldwide, says JK Rowling

As play opens in London, author says it could find a home on Broadway and beyond to reach as many Potter fans as possible

As Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens in the West End of London, author JK Rowling has said the production could soon go global.

Part one of the play premiered at the Palace theatre on Saturday afternoon, with part two due to follow on Saturday evening. The play script will also be released at midnight, so fans unable to make it to the theatre will get a chance to find out what happens next to Harry Potter and his friends.

Speaking on the red carpet, where she wore winged high heels as a nod to the wizarding world, Rowling said the play could be destined for Broadway and beyond. Asked about Broadway plans, she told reporters: Id love it to go wider than that. Id like as many Potter fans to see it as possible.

Theatre producer Sonia Friedman said many countries could get a chance to see the play in future years. She said: Hopefully more than America, hopefully many countries at some point will get to see it. But its a big piece of theatre, its a big endeavour, you cant just turn it around overnight.

But if everything goes to plan over the years, we will get there.

As the play opened following nearly eight weeks of previews, it drew whoops, applause and gasps of shock from the audience as magic appeared to unfold onstage. The play also features plenty of twists and surprises, although fans have been asked to keep plot details secret with KeepTheSecrets badges handed to audience members on their way out.

Rowling said she had been impressed that fans had kept details under wraps: It is the most extraordinary fandom so Im kind of not surprised they didnt want to spoil it for each other but Im so happy we got here without ruining it.

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JK Rowling sporting winged shoes at the premiere. Photograph: Dan Wooller/Rex/Shutterstock

The Harry Potter author highlighted the importance of the Friday 40, a chance for people without tickets to win seats at low prices. She said: What we would really like most of all is to bring people in who have never been to the theatre before.

I would be so proud to think that kids from my kind of background, who didnt come from particularly theatre-going families, learn what theatre is about through this show. That would be an incredible thing.

Attending the gala with his family, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: Many thanks to JK Rowling for ensuring the premiere is here. He added that he was a big fan of Harry Potter, saying: Whats important is that the world premiere is here in London, and we should be really proud.

Director John Tiffany also thanked fans for keeping the secrets so far, comparing sharing plot details with opening childrens Christmas presents in November: Why would you do that?

Set 19 years after the events of the seventh and final book, The Cursed Child brings back Harry Potter, now an employee at the Ministry of Magic.

Harry and his wife, Ginny Weasley, wave off their youngest son, Albus Severus, to their old wizarding school, Hogwarts but once there, Albus struggles with the weight of his family legacy and goes to extreme and dangerous lengths to right the wrongs of the past.

Reviews have been glowing, with the Guardians Michael Billington describing it as a duel of dark and light carried off with dazzling assurance. The two-part play stretches over five hours and was co-devised by Rowling, written by Jack Thorne and directed by Tiffany.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/jul/30/harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-could-soon-go-worldwide-says-jk-rowling

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