Huge news for Harry Potter fans around the world. The rehearsal edition of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play will be published in book form and digital format on July 31, 2016.

The play’s story has been developed by J.K. Rowling alongside Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, with the actual script being written by Jack Thorne. There has been much buzz about it since the announcement earlier this year that the play is actually a sequel to the seven-book series, picking up right after the epilogue of Deathly Hallows, 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts. According to the announcement, at least two versions of the play will see the light of day.

The first one, to be published at the end of July, will comprise of the version of the play script at the time of the play’s preview performances. It will be known as the Special Rehearsal Edition and will only be available for a limited time. However, theatre previews allow the creative team the chance to rehearse and explore scenes further before a production’s official opening night. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens for previews several weeks before its official first performance on Saturday 30 July, thus the script is deemed to change and evolve during this time. For this reason, the Special Rehearsal Edition of the script book will later be replaced by a Definitive Collector’s Edition.

The script book will be published in the US by Scholastic and in the UK by Little, Brown, a departure from the traditional Harry Potter publisher in the UK, Bloomsbury. The official synopsis for the eight story reads:

“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.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.”

Additionally, the announcement teased a Harry Potter publishing schedule that goes well into 2019, including four special editions (one for each Hogwarts House) of the Philosopher’s Stone being published next year to celebrate its 20-year anniversary. There will also be a brand new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2017, with new content by J.K. Rowling, as well as new formats and editions of the Hogwarts Library books – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. More details about these releases will be shared at a later date.

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