‘Cursed Child’ casts spell over Asia
HARRY Potter magic hit Asia yesterday morning, as aspiring witches and wizards crowded into bookstores to get their hands on the first copies of a new play that imagines the hero as an adult.
Launch parties for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were held hours after the play’s premiere in London, setting the stage for a return of the series that has captivated readers and movie audiences worldwide.
Nearly 300 fans rushed through the doors of Kinokuniya bookstore on Singapore’s Orchard Road at 7:01am to become one of the first people in the world to see the new script.
Student Samantha Chua, 24, who along with her boyfriend was first in line, said she had been waiting outside the fourth-floor bookstore since 5am.
“We were here so early that the mall wasn’t even open yet so we had to come up through the cargo lifts,” she told AFP, adding that it was “all worth it”.
“I grew up reading the books and I have a special place for them on my shelves but this will be my crowning glory,” added Chua, who was wearing a Harry Potter-themed sweater.
Widely seen as the eighth Harry Potter instalment, the play is set 19 years after the end of the last book and features a grown-up Potter working at the Ministry of Magic.
Like many of his fans, Potter has now become an adult, and has three children with his wife Ginny Weasley.
The script’s global kick-off was timed to coincide with its launch at midnight in London, after the play’s world premiere at the Palace Theatre earlier in the evening. July 31 is also author JK Rowling’s birthday.
In Singapore, some fans held a prize-giving ceremony and a hunt for the Snitch – a type of ball used in the wizard sport of Quidditch in the Potter books.
Others were spotted sitting in nooks around the store eagerly poring over the book.
In Bangkok, around 40 fans, many wielding wands and other wizarding paraphernalia, gathered outside a large downtown mall overnight.
Sanpipat Huangsawat, 29, was first in line and had started queuing at 6:30pm on July 30 evening. He finally got his hand on the book some 11 hours later.
“I feel very excited and it’s great to be the first owner of this book in Thailand,” he told AFP.
Dozens gathered at a downtown bookstore in Hong Kong to get the new title and try on Harry Potter costumes provided by the store.
Ten-year-old Adele Leung, who came with her mother, was anxious to crack into the latest Potter tome.
“I love Harry Potter and have read all of the last ones. I think I will read it in a few days,” she said. –
The tiger, who has fathered 20 cubs, is considered the most famous big cat in India.
A customer reads a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on the day of its release at a bookstore in Hong Kong.