In a new interview with The New York Times, J. K. Rowling et al. discuss the theatre show which opens for previews tonight!
Why a play? Was it J. K. Rowling’s idea?
Sonia Friedman It was absolutely Colin’s and my idea. We knew that many other producers had approached her and she had rejected their pitches. But that’s because they were all ideas about musicals or arena spectacles. We went to her with the simple idea of a straight play. We were clear we didn’t want to adapt a novel, and we suggested exploring how Harry, an orphan, would cope as an adult and a parent.
Colin Callender We went up to Edinburgh four years ago and sat in a boardroom and talked about fathers and parenting for a while. We said we felt she had created a fully dimensional world, and there were things about the characters she hadn’t revealed. We didn’t hear anything for a bit, then got the call to say, “Let’s go to the next stage.” She was clear from the beginning that she was not a playwright and wouldn’t write it, and that she would only do it if we found a playwright she approved.
Has it been difficult to work under conditions of intense secrecy? And what about when previews start and people are talking about the play online?
Callender I’m hopeful after seeing how people were about “Star Wars.” They mostly protected the fans.
Tiffany It will be a relief when the text is published, when the play officially opens on July 30, so that it’s not our secret to keep. But if you don’t read it, and you choose not to read reviews, we’ve made it possible to come without prior knowledge.