What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'news')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: news, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 5,873
1. Daniel Radcliffe Shares His Donald Trump Story & Talks about His New Play “Privacy”

Daniel Radcliffe shared his story of meeting Donald Trump on the Late Night With Seth Meyers before talking about his new off-Broadway play Privacy. 

Radcliffe tells that he met Trump while visiting New York City for the first time as an 11-year-old for an appearance on the Today Show. According to Radcliffe he was marched over to meet Trump and when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee asked how he was doing, Radcliffe told him that he was nervous about what to talk about in the show. Radcliffe states that Trump’s response was the following:

“You just tell them that you met Mr Trump!”

Radcliffe also talks about his new off-Broadway show Privacy, which is co-created and written by James Graham and Josie Rourke. According to Broadwayworld.com “Privacy is a timely exploration of the digital age that will feature a cast of seven, including Radcliffe as “The Writer.”” In addition to Radcliffe the cast includes De’Adre Aziza, Raffi Barsoumian, Michael Countryman, Rachel Dratch and Reg Rogers.

Broadwayworld.com writes:

“Inspired by the revelations of Edward Snowden, Privacy explores our complicated relationship with technology and data through the funny and heart-breaking travails of a lonely guy (Daniel Radcliffe), who arrives in the city to figure out how to like, tag, and share his life without giving it all away. The play uncovers what our technological choices reveal about who we are, what we want and who’s keeping track of it all. This provocative theatrical event will ask audiences to charge their phones, leave them ON during the performance and to embark on a fascinating dive online and into a new reality where we’re all connected…for better or worse.”

Privacy will begin previews for a limited engagement on July 5th in the Newman Theater. The official press opening of the play will be on Monday, July 18.

Add a Comment
2. Emma Watson Stars in a New Clip from “The Colony”

Yahoo Movies UK has released an exclusive clip from Emma Watson’s upcoming thriller The Colony (also known as Colonia). The Colony, which will be in cinemas and on demand on 1st of July is directed by Florian Gallenberger. The film is based on the true story of the Colonia Dignidad, which was a sect and an agricultural commune (often described as a cult) of German immigrants in the south of Chile. According to Yahoo Movies UK The Colony was filmed with input from survivors of the German sect.

In The Colony Emma Watson plays “Lena, a woman who infiltrates a cult in 1970s Chile in a bid to rescue her boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Brühl) from the clutches of cult leader Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist).”

The clip released by Yahoo Movies UK features Michael Nyqvist as the cult leader Paul Schäfer talking to Watson’s Lena about her decision to come to the Colony. The short clip does not reveal much, but manages to provide a very intense snapshot of the upcoming film.

The clip can be accessed from here.

And here is the official UK trailer for The Colony:

 

Add a Comment
3. FlameCon Announces Gun-Free Cosplay Policy Following Orlando Massacre

FlameconbannerFlame Con, New York City’s first LGBTQ comic con, has announced that the second year of their event will be “(toy) Gun-Free” in the wake of the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando.

1 Comments on FlameCon Announces Gun-Free Cosplay Policy Following Orlando Massacre, last added: 6/23/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
4. A Mixed Bag of Great Books for Refugee Week

Refugee Week (UK) - logoToday sees the beginning of Refugee Week here in the UK. More than ever we need to be nurturing compassion and empathy in our children so that they grow up able to recognise the toxicity of xenophobia and … Continue reading ...

Add a Comment
5. Fantastic Beasts Release New Poster and VidCon Teaser!

Fantastic Beasts will be in attendance at VidCon this year – one of the biggest fan conventions based around the power of online video, originally conceived by YouTube’s Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green.

In the run up to the convention, the film’s Facebook page released a brand new poster, featuring Newt Scamander, and a message teasing at something FANTASTIC set to occur at VidCon:

“A new piece of art to celebrate a new era of the Wizarding World! And stay tuned because something FANTASTIC at ?#?vidcon2016? is being announced soon… ?#?FantasticBeasts?

This new poster is absolutely beautiful – we can’t wait to see what they’ll be up to at VidCon! Watch the official trailer here!

Add a Comment
6. Noma Dumezweni on Racism and Playing Hermione

Since the announcement of the casting choices for the trio in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, there has been much discussion surrounding the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione. Many fans have welcomed Dumezweni with open arms, but some have been very vocal in their disappointment with the choice to cast a woman of color in a role depicted in the films as white.

 

Said Dumezweni of some of the things people have been posting about her on Twitter:

“My name is being tagged into stuff that’s not nice, that’s not nice.”

 

She adds:

“It’s ignorance. It drives me crazy. It’s a limitation. Because this is absolutely a different form.”

 

Michael Gambon and other Potter alumni have voiced their support for Dumezweni, as has J.K. Rowling herself, who reminded readers on Twitter that Hermione’s race had never been defined in the books.

 

 

Read more at DigitalSpy.

Add a Comment
7. Palace Theatre to Get the Full Hogwarts Makeover!

Palace Theatre may already look dressed to the nines in Cursed Child decor, but, after reservations on the part of Westminster Council, plans have been approved for the Cursed Child Theatre to hang Hogwarts’ house banners out front.

 

The Stage reports that Westminster Council were concerned about house banners compromising the appearance of the area:

“As previously reported by The Stage, the venue submitted an application to Westminster City Council earlier this year to hang four banners on the outside of the theatre in the house colours of Hogwarts, the school attended by boy wizard Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre.

The plans have been approved, despite reservations from the council.

In a report, the council said the banners would be “a discordant and highly visible feature on an otherwise uncluttered facade”.

It added: “It is considered these large-scale advertisement banners would have a detrimental impact on visual amenity, dominating the site and the street scene, and causing harm to the Grade II-listed building and to the other heritage assets”.

But it continued that the “director considers the proposals are in line with the policies and therefore consent should be granted”.”

Read the full report here.

Take a look at the house banners in Cursed Child here, and look forward to seeing them outside the theatre very soon!

 

Add a Comment
8. 2016 South Asia Book Award

SABA - South Asia Book Award - banner

South Asian Book Award 2016 winnersCongratulations to Mitali Perkins whose wonderful Tiger Boy (Charlesbridge, 2015 / Duckbill Books, 2015) has garnered another award (well, I said it should win plenty in … Continue reading ...

Add a Comment
9. Diverse Children’s Books Link-Up – 18 June

DiverseKidLitMirrors Windows Doors is one of the hosts of the new Diverse Children’s Books meme. Find out all about it below – and be sure to join in, both by adding a post to the linky and by exploring the riches that both … Continue reading ...

Add a Comment
10. Michael Gambon Responds To Those Upset About A Black Hermione

Throughout the books, Hermione was described to have big, bushy hair, large front teeth, and brown eyes. Those seem to be the only specific descriptions of her physical looks that we see. Her skin color was never specified. So, for those who read the books, she appeared differently in every mind.

For 10 years, Hermione was portrayed by Emma Watson. But now a new era of the Harry Potter world has arisen. With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes new actors playing characters we know and love. Unfortunately, some people are a little upset that they don’t all look the same.

Last year, the casting of Noma Dumezweni as our beloved Hermione Granger was announced. Most fans accepted the actresses skin colour, knowing full well that the characters skin was never specified. But there was that small group that fought back against the idea of a black Hermione.

image

Wednesday night, at the Oxford Union, Michael Gambon had some words for the critics of the decision to cast a black actress. Responding to a student who was curious to hear his opinion, he stated:

“It doesn’t matter what colour you are, does it? It doesn’t make a difference if you’re a black actress or a white actress. You’d forget it in five minutes, wouldn’t you? When the tabs go up on a play, and the person who’s in it starts talking, you soon forget about it. It doesn’t matter what colour they are, for God’s sake.”

He reacted very similarly to the notion that Idris Elba might take over the role of 007 once  Daniel Craig’s tenure has ended. “He’d be brilliant, wouldn’t he?” Gambon said of Elba. “If he goes and plays James Bond, he plays James Bond. That’s it, boom, stop.”

“It’s nonsense, isn’t it?” Expressed Gambon. “It’s so annoying. It’s a load of b****cks.”

Gambon also spoke about his role as Dumbledore – though he said he took on the position purely for the money, he’s always seemed to seemed to have a soft spot for the character:

“They rang me up and I jumped at it, I didn’t have to think at all,” he said of the first day on set as Dumbledore. “I turned up at the studio and did it – that’s all. 

“In my first entrance as Dumbledore I had to walk up some stairs and I ran up them. The director said you can’t run up them, and I said I want to run up them. And that was that.”

He also spoke about J.K. Rowling telling him that Dumbledore was in fact a gay character, and sang her praises:

“I think they made it up as they went along,” he chuckled. “She [J.K. Rowling] told me one day that Dumbledore was gay. She’d just decided that day. We’d been on for about three years!

“I started doing this on the set,” he grinned, playing with his hair and fluttering his eyelashes. “The director came running over to me and asked me what I was doing.

“I said that the women who wrote this play told me I was gay. He didn’t believe me, but she was there, and he went and asked her about it.

I didn’t play ‘gay’, I just played who I am.” 

“I think she’s brilliant … the stuff she writes is really clever.”

Read more on Michael Gambon at the Oxford Union here.

Add a Comment
11. Michael Gambon Responds To Those Upset About A Black Hermione

Throughout the books, Hermione was described to have big, bushy hair, large front teeth, and brown eyes. Those seem to be the only specific descriptions of her physical looks that we see. Her skin color was never specified. So, for those who read the books, she appeared differently in every mind.

For 10 years, Hermione was portrayed by Emma Watson. But now a new era of the Harry Potter world has arisen. With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes new actors playing characters we know and love. Unfortunately, some people are a little upset that they don’t all look the same.

Last year, the casting of Noma Dumezweni as our beloved Hermione Granger was announced. Most fans accepted the actresses skin colour, knowing full well that the characters skin was never specified. But there was that small group that fought back against the idea of a black Hermione.

image

Wednesday night, at the Oxford Union, Michael Gambon had some words for the critics of the decision to cast a black actress. Responding to a student who was curious to hear his opinion, he stated:

“It doesn’t matter what colour you are, does it? It doesn’t make a difference if you’re a black actress or a white actress. You’d forget it in five minutes, wouldn’t you? When the tabs go up on a play, and the person who’s in it starts talking, you soon forget about it. It doesn’t matter what colour they are, for God’s sake.”

He reacted very similarly to the notion that Idris Elba might take over the role of 007 once  Daniel Craig’s tenure has ended. “He’d be brilliant, wouldn’t he?” Gambon said of Elba. “If he goes and plays James Bond, he plays James Bond. That’s it, boom, stop.”

“It’s nonsense, isn’t it?” Expressed Gambon. “It’s so annoying. It’s a load of b****cks.”

Gambon also spoke about his role as Dumbledore – though he said he took on the position purely for the money, he’s always seemed to seemed to have a soft spot for the character:

“They rang me up and I jumped at it, I didn’t have to think at all,” he said of the first day on set as Dumbledore. “I turned up at the studio and did it – that’s all. 

“In my first entrance as Dumbledore I had to walk up some stairs and I ran up them. The director said you can’t run up them, and I said I want to run up them. And that was that.”

He also spoke about J.K. Rowling telling him that Dumbledore was in fact a gay character, and sang her praises:

“I think they made it up as they went along,” he chuckled. “She [J.K. Rowling] told me one day that Dumbledore was gay. She’d just decided that day. We’d been on for about three years!

“I started doing this on the set,” he grinned, playing with his hair and fluttering his eyelashes. “The director came running over to me and asked me what I was doing.

“I said that the women who wrote this play told me I was gay. He didn’t believe me, but she was there, and he went and asked her about it.

I didn’t play ‘gay’, I just played who I am.” 

“I think she’s brilliant … the stuff she writes is really clever.”

Read more on Michael Gambon at the Oxford Union here.

Add a Comment
12. Daniel Radcliffe Talks About Playing Dead in “Swiss Army Man”

Daniel Radcliffe gives tips on playing dead in an interview with the New York Times. In Swiss Army Man Radcliffe plays Manny, a dead man who washes ashore on a deserted island inhabited by Hank (Paul Dano). Though Manny is very much dead, Hank uses his body in many different ways to make his life on the island a bit easier.

Radcliffe says:

“You just sort of have to use your imagination when you’re playing something that doesn’t exist… But that’s a good thing. As long as you’re giving the directors what they want, there’s no really wrong answer.”

Radcliffe’s tips for playing a dead guy include “Find your voice”, “Keep your face really still” and “Embrace your postlife superpowers”. He also points out that it was important to know when to use stunt corpses while talking about a scene where a raccoon attacks Manny and starts scratching the eyes of the corpse.

Swiss Army Man is written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. It premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and is set for limited US release on June 24, 2016 by A24.

Add a Comment
13. The Harry Potter Fandom Pays Tribute to Those Lost In Orlando Shooting

Monday night, two beautiful tributes were payed to those we lost in the tragedy that happened at a gay nightclub early sunday morning. One, on Shaftsberry Avenue in London, the other, thousands of miles away, at a theme park in Orlando.

Jo tweeted this photo of the screens outside the Cursed Child theater on Shaftsbury Avenue in London. I am thankful that this fandom is led by such a wonderful women like Jo. The powerful image of the gay flag being flown outside of the theater will surely inspire many to stand up and fight for what we have lost.

That same night, fans gathered and raised their wands outside the Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida, to pay tribute to our fellow wizard, Luis Vielma, who we lost in the shooting (see previous article here). A video was posted soon after the tribute took place, showing people mourning together, hugging each other, and helping each other through this terrible time. When there is no one else to turn to, be thankful we will always have our fellow Harry Potter fans to lean on.

 

See more about the London tribute here, and more about the Orlando tribute here.

Add a Comment
14. LeakyCon: “Magical things are Happening…”

LeakyCon recently posted an exciting – yet mysteriously vague – letter to Minerva McGonagall to their Facebook page. The letter came from Ana Rodriguez – Director of Magical Gatherings and Celebrations at the US Department of International Magical Cooperation all the way in New York City:

The letter hints at an exciting event being planned, and LeakyCon posted this letter with the caption “Magical things are happening…”:

“I personally reviewed your recent proposal and am happy to inform you on behalf of MACUSA and the Quahog Administration, that we are excited to work with Hogwarts and the British Ministry of Magic to make this exciting and historic event a reality.

I have already alerted my counterpart at the California DOIMC office as well as our embedded contact within the Consulate General in Los Angeles to begin coordinating the logistics. Representatives from Ilvermorny are also excited to help in whatever way possible.

We are thrilled to have a hand in making this celebration a truly international affair”

The exciting integration of new knowledge of North American magical institutions – thanks to Fantastic Beasts – and the incorporation of our beloved Professor McGonagall (maybe hinting at Cursed Child links?). Who knows! We’re glad to hear that Harry’s legacy is still going strong in the wizarding world!

LeakyCon is also now looking for programming proposals for presentations on magical subjects:

“We are looking for a select number of knowledgeable witches and wizards to present on their favorite magical topics at LeakyCon 2016. If you have a burning desire to share your ideas and research on the Harry Potter universe, this is the place to tell us about it so we can help you make it happen!”

What do you think it all means? Find out more and buy tickets at the LeakyCon website, here!

Add a Comment
15. Painting with Rainbows – A Michael Foreman Exhibition at Seven Stories

On Friday I finally made it up to Newcastle to catch the National Centre for Children’s Books, Seven Stories’ exhibition Painting with Rainbows – A Michael Foreman Exhibition, which closes today (sorry!). The good news is that it will be heading out on tour: so far, it’s … Continue reading ...

Add a Comment
16. Lives Lost in Orlando Mass Shooting

Tragedy strikes the nation as the news of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub hits our hearts. 50 lives were lost and even more people were injured that night. People everywhere are mourning the deaths of these wonderful people.

Among the victims identified, we have lost one of our own. Luis Vielma, who was only 22 when he died, had worked the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal.

“Luis was by far the best person I knew,” Luis’ friend, Will Randle, told the Miami Herald. “He inherently made us all better people by simply existing around us. Part of him will always live on in every good decision I make.”

Jo mourned him, as well as the many other victims, on twitter.

Our thoughts are with the Orlando victims as Pride month pushes through this terrible adversity.

Add a Comment
17. “I didn’t want to let fans down”: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on Creating ‘Cursed Child’

Recently, BBC News interviewed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show-makers J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on the making of the play.

Interviewer Will Gompertz starts by asking about the process of three people co-writing one play.  After many discussions between the three creators, the story of Cursed Child was fleshed out and ready for writing. John Tiffany explains:

‘We didn’t start writing the play – or Jack didn’t – until we’d agreed on what that story was.’

Jack Thorne then started on writing the script that is soon to be published in (script)book form.

‘Jack produced an amazing script’ Jo Rowling says in reply to his ‘very self-depricating’ remarks about attempting to write a script.

Rowling then comments on her concerns prior to the play being released to the public:

‘I don’t think I realised how anxious I was … I mean, this is putting me back ten years. Potter attracted a lot of madness, and a lot of hype, and going back to that place, I realised on Wednesday night how anxious that had made me, because I knew how much expectation there would be, and I didn’t want to let fans down.’

Gompertz then asks if there’s a sense that Jo doesn’t ‘own’ Potter anymore. After so many fan creations, so much theorising about her stories and characters, this is a good question to ask. The level of expectation put on J.K. Rowling to deliver the stories that we want as fans could make it seem like the stories are almost ‘owned’ by the fanbase, but Rowling thinks otherwise:

‘I wouldn’t go that far, Will’ Rowling shoots back, whilst Tiffany and Thorne chuckle knowingly.

‘Because, you know, that would be – and I’m deadly serious – that would be to disavow what that world was to me.

Seventeen years that world was mine, and for seven of those years it was entirely mine – not a living soul knew anything about it. I can’t just uproot that from all those personal experiences that inform those stories and say, “I’m throwing that away now”, and that’s how that would feel.’

Jack Thorne chips in, saying:

‘As a fan, you want it to be her world, not our world … it’s her world that we’ve been allowed to play in.’

Will Gompertz then remarks to Director John Tiffany that ‘Jack and Jo had it easy’ in comparison, as Tiffany’s job is to ‘make their imagination a reality on stage’. Tiffany responds:

‘It’s not all bells and whistles, it’s not all glitter guns and cannons. Actually, a lot of it is very very simple magic and illusion, and stage craft … there’s not really a huge amount that could go wrong’

After provoking what was almost a whimper of fear from Jo Rowling in that last comment, Tiffany explains his rather laid-back attitude:

‘We’ve done it very very carefully, so it’s not kind of a wing and a prayer.’

Gompertz asks Rowling whether she could imagine ever creating another world which had as profound an impact as the Potter world:

‘No’ She replies, ‘and nor would I want to. I feel as though I did that, and I love it. It takes up so much mental space, it takes up a lot of space in the world now. I think I would be on a fool’s errand to try and do that again’.

Be sure to watch the full interview at the BBC here. This interview followed  The Guardian’s interview with the trio prior to Cursed Child‘s opening this week (here), and the New York Times’ coverage of a roundtable discussion with the cast and crew of Cursed Child here.

Add a Comment
18. Natalia Tena Animated Film, “Fishwitch” Screening at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Natalia Tena (who played the ever-fabulous Hufflepuff and Auror, Tonks, in the Harry Potter films) stars in an animated short film called Fishwitch, previously titled Once Upon an Iceberg. As Leaky reported previously (read here), the short description of the animated short calls the film “an ugly fairy tale with a lot of heart.” The animated short is currently in production, running at about 8 minutes total.

The plot outline reads:

“When Tootega the Sea Witch catches Derek the Singing Merman in her net, she assumes she can use her powers to get rid of him, just like everyone else. Except Derek is not like everyone else, and Tootega soon finds her heart melting under Derek’s influence – quite literally.”

Natalia Tena will be playing the protagonist, Tootega the Sea Witch. Sam Apley, Tena’s partner from her musical band, Molotov Jukebox, will be taking the role of Derek the Singing Merman.

The short film will be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, in competition with other short films that will be shown. There are tickets still available to see Natalia Tena as Tootega, more information can be found on the film’s Facebook page, here. The new trailer for the short film can be seen below!

FISHWITCH Trailer from adrienne dowling on Vimeo.

Add a Comment
19. Diverse Children’s Books Link-Up – 4 June

DiverseKidLitMirrors Windows Doors is one of the hosts of the new Diverse Children’s Books meme. Find out all about it below – and be sure to join in, both by adding a post to the linky and by exploring the riches that both … Continue reading ...

Add a Comment
20. J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on ‘Cursed Child’ Opening TOMORROW!

Cursed Child is set to start preview performances tomorrow, and in the midst of J.K. Rowling, director John Tiffany and writer Jack Thorne preparing for their opening day, The Guardian spoke to them about their two years of collaboration on the project.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.09.02

Commenting on the ‘warmth and ease’ of the relationship between the three creators, writer Sarah Crompton says that the ‘friendship and ease between them bodes well for the collaboration that has sustained them for more than two years’.

We are reminded that this is the only interview the trio will give before the opening of the play. Jo recently tweeted a photo of a badge saying ‘#KeepTheSecrets’, which is the running message of the play’s promotion. In a recent backstage glimpse of the play (which you can watch here), the door to the rehearsals room bore a sign saying ‘Keep Calm and Keep the Secrets’.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.09.16

Jo also tweeted a video today, asking all seeing the preview performances and beyond to keep the secrets of the play under wraps, so not to ruin the story for those unable to see the play or those attending slightly later dates:

On keeping the secrets:

“I’ve been through this many times,” says Rowling. “And I hope we get there without any major spoilers, purely because people will have an amazing experience if they don’t know what’s coming.

“Generally speaking, Harry Potter fans are a community, they have each other’s backs, and they want to have that mystery and the sense of surprise. So we’re hopeful. But it won’t be the absolute end of the world. We’re not going to be throwing tantrums about it but we hope for the audience’s sake that we can get there.”

5573

Two weeks ago, The Guardian’s Sarah Crompton met with the trio, and Rowling understandably hadn’t been sleeping much:

“I’ve been awake since 4am … We were in the theatre last night and I saw a scene that’s very close to my heart, in costume, on the set And it was quite overwhelming” 

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 12.17.32 PM

Director John Tiffany is clearly no stranger to Jo’s amazement with the play:

“Jo has been around for a lot of the process,” Tiffany chips in. “A lot,” she agrees. “But last night was the first time I had been into the theatre and seen everything so fully realised. And it was… extraordinary.”

“We did a fist bump, didn’t we?” says Tiffany, smiling.

“Well, I tried to do a fist bump with you,” Rowling shoots back. “And you tried to shake it. So that wasn’t our coolest moment. But in fairness it was dark…” “And I am not known for my first bumps,” says the director. “Nor am I, really,” adds Rowling. “I just felt the moment demanded one.”

Talking about their nerves, Jo – the 4am riser – feels she could take a lot from Tiffany’s relenting composure. He says that his unshaken nerves were unexpected:

“If you had asked me a year ago how I’d be feeling today, I think I’d probably have said I would be crumbling biscuits in the corner. But I feel remarkably sane.”

“You are so calm,” Rowling interjects. “I am less calm.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 12.18.06 PM

The magic started in a meeting between J.K. Rowling and the play’s now-producer, Sonia Friedman – after speculating the idea and bringing in Tiffany and Thorne, Rowling was completely on board:

“You can probably imagine I have been asked to do something else with Harry Potter five times a week ever since the series ended. Sonia just wanted to explore a theatrical production and I knew her by reputation obviously and thought I would really like to meet her and hear what she had to say.”

On Tiffany and Thorne’s involvement:

“That’s the reason this happened because I thought I will never have the opportunity to work with such great people again,”

Of course, Jack Thorne is a self-proclaimed ‘total Potterhead':

“I still consider myself a Potterhead and I hope the Potterheads don’t hate me so much after this that I am never allowed to be one again.”

Yet Tiffany was unaware of this when he invited Jack to become writer of the play:

“He asked me when we met at the tube station on the way to The South Bank Show awards,” remembers Thorne. “So glamorous,” laughs Tiffany. “And so appropriate, the tube station,” adds Rowling mysteriously. Thorne continues: “And he said, ‘What do you think about it?’ And I went a bit nuts in the street. Only because I’m so incredibly shy, nobody would have seen or realised I was going nuts.”

In an amazing turn of events, Jo Rowling and John Tiffany revealed that they actually met informally years before. Jo was a single mother, writing The Philosopher’s Stone in Edinburgh Cafes, completely unaware of the phenomenon it would become:

One of her favourite haunts was the Traverse theatre, where Tiffany was assistant director. “It was one of the first places in Edinburgh you could have a cappuccino,” remembers Tiffany. “I was there meeting actors and writers a lot, and I remember seeing a woman writing, with a pram at her side. We got to saying hello and I remember once Jo said, ‘Do you mind if I’m here…’”

“Because I hadn’t bought a lot of coffee,” she explains, before Tiffany adds: “Then a year or so later I realised who it had been. And she didn’t come to the Traverse any more.”

HP_19753_Harry_FL (1)

Jo says her and Jack Thorne are similar in many ways, making the bond between the three a lot easier to work with. They’re serious about the play, yet seemingly lighthearted, calm and honest in their approach to working with one another. Rowling seems to have completely entrusted her story to the two creators:

“Jack and I are similar in many ways,” says Rowling. “We’re both, notwithstanding how chirpy we are being right now, quite introverted people who are very happy alone in a room, and there are many parallels in our working practices and I felt like he was one of my tribe.”

“And we bonded over the haircut,” he adds, before asking her permission to tell the following story. “We were talking about the way people don’t realise quite how horrible age 10 is. That was the moment I realised it was possible I could never have friends. Other people would have friends and I never would. And I was talking about buying a coat: I bought the same coat as Matt Cox, who was a considerably cooler kid in the year and I had to wear it to school every day because my mum had bought it for me and it was the only coat I was going to get. He wore it a lot better and everyone thought I was copying him.”

He still shudders at the memory. Then Rowling adds, quickly: “And I had exactly the same experience. I had the same feather cut at 10 as Susan Hook. I went into school and everyone thought you are trying to be Susan Hook, you pathetic human being. We had exactly the same experience of being deeply uncool. And that’s what haunts you.”

HP_20100_Scorpius_FL

Tiffany and Thorne understand the power of stories to impact people in complex and important ways, and clearly know the role that Harry Potter has had on so many people’s lives:

“When you’re growing up it’s very easy to feel lonely and insecure,” says Tiffany. “And what Jo managed to capture, I think, was a world which made those people feel less lonely.”

Rowling explains why she took on the project, and trusted Jack with the writing:

“I never set out to build a big community, but I don’t think there is a writer alive who wouldn’t want to have that many people react to their work,” she says. “That’s what happened. People came inside the world with me.

This is why [Jack] is the right man for the job, because he just gets it. That’s pitch perfect. The big reason why people loved Potter was that it felt like it could be. That sense that there is more to the world. Just on the other side. Even within touching distance. There’s more. It is the promise of another world and it doesn’t have to be a magical world but to a lonely child or an insecure person or anyone who feels different or isolated, the idea of having a place where you do belong is everything.”

“From the moment he produced the first outline, I thought bingo, that’s it.

On whether she ever considered writing the play herself:

“I am not so arrogant that I think when you’ve got an absolutely top-class playwright offering to do it that I’m going to say, ‘Well, I’ve never done it before but I’ll do it.’ It’s a question of knowing the limits of your own competence. I was reasonably involved in the Potter scripts. I’m more familiar with that world. I felt a degree of confidence writing a screenplay but I had supreme confidence that Jack was going to write the play that I was going to love and he has. So you can’t ask fairer than that.”

_89840310_l-rharrypotter-jamieparker,albuspotter-samclemmett,ginnypotter-poppymiller

Later she comments on stage writing being a ‘revelation’ to her:

“It is a totally new language to me,” she says. “So watching Jack and what he can do on the page and his understanding on what will then translate on to stage has been such a revelation to me. I know novels and I know movies but this is a different world entirely. Jack has access to a paintbox that I don’t have because I don’t understand the medium.”

Thorne smiles. “To be honest, ever since I wrote Let the Right One In, I’d write something like, ‘They run through a forest and then are strung up on a tree and brutally murdered’. I’d just write it on a page and make John do it. And he does” 

The world of Harry Potter seemed silent to us for a long time – the play has returned the magic to us all in a new form, and Fantastic Beasts is introducing us to new elements in the world of magic that we’ve not encountered before. Rowling says that the stories never left her, even whilst she worked on The Casual Vacancy and Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels:

“It was 17 years and just because I’ve stopped on the page doesn’t mean my imagination stopped,” she says. “It’s like running a very long race. You can’t just stop dead at the finishing line. I had some material and some ideas and themes, and we three [she nods at Tiffany and Thorne] made a story.”

“But I carry that world around in my head all the time,” she acknowledges. “I am never going to hate that world. I love that world. But there are other worlds I want to live in too. To be perfectly honest, I just feel if I enjoy it, I’ll do it – and if I don’t, I won’t.”

“I always said never say never, and the reason I said that was truthfully that I did have this residue in my head in both directions – in Fantastic Beasts…, which is going back, and in this play, which is going forwards. So I still had this material in my head.

“It’s been amazing because there are roots over there and shoots over here, so it is keeping it very consistent and doing it all at the same time. We are sharing a lot between the worlds.”

HP_20751_Rose_FL

The medium chosen for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child intrigued us all – when we heard there would be an ‘eighth story’ many expected another book, some thought it would be a film – many were confused when the scriptbook was announced – it’s a method of storytelling that’s new to us all, but theatre has captured the imaginations of creators for centuries, so perhaps it is only fitting that one of the greatest stories of this century moves to the stage. Rowling explains the reasoning behind the process:

“I kept being asked whether I would make a musical and I don’t like musicals,” she says, grimacing. “Theatre, on the other hand, I love. I find it a seductive world – there is nothing like seeing an actor perform live. But I had never had anyone approach me or propose anything that excited me like this.

“I think that, as a theatrical experience, as a play, it will be unlike anything people have seen before. And once people have had this theatrical experience, they will understand why this was the perfect medium for the story.”

The play is an art form unlike any other, yet in this day and age it seems to be neglected – Rowling herself admits to never having considered its appeal before. Jack Thorne and John Tiffany are trying to bring it back with J.K. Rowling, in style:

“The phrase John hates more than any other is ‘I should go to the theatre more often’ because it contains the idea that going to the theatre is an obligation.” “Like eating your vegetables,” Rowling chips in. “Or going to church,” adds Tiffany. “And that,” continues Thorne, as if in three-part harmony, “is the death of theatre. This is an opportunity, I guess, to get people who don’t feel they should go to the theatre to go to the theatre, and then discover that they want to go to the theatre.”

HP_20196_Malfoy_FL-2

John Tiffany and Jack Thorne also unpack the reasoning behind Cursed Child being in two parts (as two separate plays):

“You would have had no space for character,” says Thorne. “It would just have been plot, plot, plot.”

Tiffany explains: ”Where film can eat up story, theatre needs space and breath. Once we thought of doing it in two parts, it felt naughty to begin with, but we felt we didn’t want to short change the story. We were very nervous up until the moment when the audience started to buy tickets, and the response was overwhelmingly fantastic, because the fear was that people would think we were just exploiting this. But it wasn’t that in any way, shape or form.” Rowling adds: “We had space to do what we were talking about doing.”

We’ve all seen the unsettling underbelly of Potter fandom rear its head in response to the casting of the Potter trio in Cursed Child – the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione in particular sparked an enraged response.

Some claimed that this casting was ‘against canon’, it was against the films, it was against the book covers, it was against descriptions of Hermione (as having ‘very brown’ skin in Chapter 4 of Prisoner of Azkaban, with her infamous brown ‘bushy’ hair), it was – apparently – just wrong. 

Perhaps these remarks did not come from a place of racism, or at least were not intended to come from such shallow places. Perhaps any move away from Emma Watson portraying Hermione would have been met with anger, perhaps people can’t understand that one medium of storytelling does not define another.

Hermione as played by Noma Dumezweni

Whatever the case, J.K. Rowling commented on the response with the truth: Noma plays Hermione Granger well and – in the author’s opinion – fits the character perfectly:

“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” she says. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job. When John told me he’d cast her, I said, ‘Oh, that’s fabulous’ because I’d seen her in a workshop and she was fabulous.”

Unknown to Tiffany, when he made his casting call, there had in fact been a “black Hermione” theory around in Potterworld for years. Yet the strength of reaction surprised him. “I am not as Twitter familiar as Jo and Jack, so I hadn’t encountered its dark side, which is just awful,” he says. “The anonymity breeds horrors so after a while I stopped reading it. But what shocked me was the way people couldn’t visualise a non-white person as the hero of a story. It’s therefore brilliant that this has happened.”

Rowling settles the issue with a firm affirmation of Hermione’s state as a fictional character who can be interpreted in a variety of manners:

 “I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

The play will be ‘as purely as theatrical as possible’, according to Tiffany:

“Not a bombastic spectacle that makes people sit back,” he says. “It’s hopefully something that pulls you in. It is absurdly ambitious theatrically but it’s also about the audience and the imagination, which is exactly what a novelist does as well.”

Read the full Guardian interview here!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2 start previewing tomorrow, June 7th, with the official opening of the play taking place on July 30th (alongside the release of the Cursed Child special rehearsal edition scriptbook). Forty low-cost tickets for performances will be released each week every Friday at 1pm – find out more at the play’s website here!

Furthermore, if you’re interested in attending Cursed Child Midnight book release parties on July 30th, find out more about GeekyCon’s exclusive event in Orlando here, and Barnes & Noble’s nationwide events here!

Add a Comment
21. First Public Preview of ‘Cursed Child’ — It Starts Today!

Several hours ago, Part 1 of the first public preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began at the Palace Theatre in London.

 

 

 
The photo above–tweeted by the official Cursed Child twitter account–shares a photo of Rose Granger-Weasley in full Hogwarts attire, standing in what appears to be the Great Hall with the four House banners hanging overhead. Her peers stand behind her in four groups (one for each House, we wonder?), and since Rose is starting her first year at Hogwarts with her cousin, Albus Potter, this just might be a sneak peek of her Sorting!

 

The first public preview of Part 2 of Cursed Child will be shown on Thursday, June 9, and the official opening is on June 30.

 
We’re all anxiously awaiting our chance to soak up more of the Wizarding World, and we’ll continue to share updates as we get them, keeping in mind J.K. Rowling’s request to “Keep the Secrets”.

Add a Comment
22. More Information on Ordering Copies of ‘Cursed Child’ Internationally

Many readers of The Leaky Cauldron have been asking whether or not print copies of  the Cursed Child scriptbook will be available in languages other than English, and available in bookstores outside of the U.K, U.S and Canada.

Unfortunately, neither of these will be the case, meaning that fans from countries outside the U.S and U.K will have to buy copies from Little, Brown in the U.K and Scholastic in the U.S / Canada and pay shipping. However, Pottermore confirmed that international readers will be able to buy a copy digitally from midnight, June 30th following preview performances of the play:

“The Special Rehearsal Edition script will be available to buy around the world, digitally by Pottermore and in print in collaboration with Little, Brown in the UK and Scholastic in the US and Canada.”

Pottermore also gave more information on the process behind turning the Special Rehearsal Edition of the script into a Definitive Edition (which is set for release in 2017):

“The Special Rehearsal Edition of the script will be available for a limited time, and gives readers the earliest opportunity to read the eighth story – just after the play has opened at London’s Palace Theatre. In this edition, readers will have access to the script used by the cast and creative team during rehearsals and previews.

During the preview period, in front of a live audience, the script will be fine-tuned by the creative team. It’s a chance to make tweaks outside the rehearsal room and based on the reactions of a real audience.

A later, Definitive Edition of the script is set for release in early 2017. This final and complete edition will replace the Special Rehearsal Edition in bookshops, both in print and digitally.

The Definitive Edition will contain the perfected, definitive script with final stage directions and annotations, as seen on opening night and beyond. This edition will also include extra content, such as writing from the play’s creative team.”

Hopefully this news isn’t too disappointing for readers outside of the U.K, U.S and Canada – we’re hoping print editions of the scriptbook will open up to international markets in 2017 along with the Definitive Edition script. Finger’s crossed!

Read more at Pottermore here.

 

Add a Comment
23. Writers, Cast, and Crew Discuss ‘Cursed Child’ Journey to the Stage

Last week, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany–both co-writers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child alongside J.K. Rowling–sat down with producers, actors, and other major forces in the play’s production for a roundtable discussion. The participants talked about the story’s conception, the decision to tell the story in play format, and–naturally–the difficulty of avoiding spoilers.

 

Colin Callender, one of the Cursed Child producers, says of the play’s journey:

“None of us, all quite experienced in the theater world, have ever experienced anything of this magnitude and intensity before.”

 

On playing such a beloved character, actress Noma Dumezweni (Hermione) says:

“The weight of expectation is huge. But for me that pressure has been outweighed by getting text messages from mums I know saying how huge it is for their mixed-race daughters that I am playing Hermione. Ultimately it’s a theater piece, I’m a theater actor and doing a job as best I can.”

 

Public previews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began yesterday, June 7, at the Palace Theatre in London. The play officially opens on June 30.

 

Read the full interview at NY Times.

Add a Comment
24. Magic Is Real

Magic is very real, and never let anyone tell you any different. Sometimes the work of wizards can be seen by the muggle world, in those rare instances we are left just wondering if there aren’t some outside forces helping us muggles out. 18 months ago a mysterious plaque appeared outside of Bristol’s children hospital. The plaque reads

“Dedicated To The Children Of Bristol The 1998 World Cup Posts Enchanted By Adou Sosseh (which of course we all knew was the captain of Senegal’s Quidditch team that of course lost the 1998 World Cup to Malawi).

The hospital was completely unaware that someone had placed the plaque there, so the quest began to find out who had done it. After a little research the BBC has uncovered who was behind the plaque. They dug up a tweet by a 27-year-old Bristol graduate by the name of Cormac Seachoy, who lost his battle with cancer last year.

The goal posts were actually apart of an art sculpture called The Lollypop Be-Bop, which is actually an interactive art installation that is remote controlled by the children to change its colored lights on command, sort of like magic. The magic that Cormac used was not produced by a wand or a potion, but with the thing that Dumbledore always preached to us it was love. Cormac had so much love in him that he could rival our beloved Harry Potter. Cormac Seachoy was not looking for sympathy or fame for this, beside his tweet he did not publicly talk about it, he just

“He just wanted to do something that would make people smile on their way in and out of the hospital.”

If that’s not magic, I’m not really sure what magic is. Magic also happened when his GoFundMe raised the money for this plaque. He needed the help of others to get this bit of magic done think of his GoFundMe as Hermione there with the perfect solution to his problem. If that is true, then his friend James Carberry is his Ron. When James got there to assist his good friend Cormac they had brought all the supplies…. Or so they thought. They did bring the industrial strength adhesive but, not a means to open it. This is where Ron, I mean James, had to go to a nearby pub and barrow a pair of scissors

“I’ll never forget the look on the barman’s face as I asked him for the scissors, but he reluctantly agreed and we were able to put the plaque up.”

This form of magic is so powerful it reached the curator of magic J.K. Rowling to which she tweeted.

Again magic is real. It is all around us and it is of course happening in our own hearts. Dumbledore would be proud that love is still undeniably the most powerful force in magic.

seacoy

Check out the original arttlce from The BBC here.

And the Hospital would also like all future magical residence to please let the “Muggles” at the hospital say thank you first.

Add a Comment
25. Harry, Ron and Draco Together in New ‘Cursed Child’ Photo

Yesterday, the official Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Twitter account tweeted this photo of Ron (Paul Thornley), Draco (Alex Price), and Harry (Jamie Parker) in anticipation of the first public preview of Part 2 of the play.

 

 

The unlikely trio stands together in full wizarding attire, and while we aren’t sure what brings them together or the cause for their serious expressions in this photo, it only makes us more excited to see the play and script book!

Catch another (spoiler-free) glimpse of the play in our report on an earlier photo shared of Rose Granger-Weasley onstage.

Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts