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Rowling bids farewell to Harry Potter at gala

A new “Harry Potter” play that opened to swooning reviews and delighted gasps from the audience marks the end of the journey for the beloved boy wizard, his creator J.K. Rowling said at the play’s premiere in London on Saturday.

Writers J.K. Rowling, left, and Jack Thorne pose for photographers upon arrival at gala performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, at the Palace Theatre in central London, Saturday, July 30, 2016. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, it is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and is the first of the stories to be presented on stage. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)Billed as the eighth installment in the series, the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and a book based on its script have helped awaken a new wave of Pottermania five years since the previous episode was made into a movie.

Throngs of fans crowded bookstores for the midnight release of the book, hours after the play in London’s West End theater district dazzled theatre-goers with swishing capes, billowy wraiths floating overhead and illusionist tricks of actors appearing to vanish into thin air.

Asked if the book and play heralded a new phase of stories, Rowling told Reuters: “No, no.”

“He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know,” said Rowling, who later appeared on stage during a standing ovation at the end of the show. “So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

Based on a story by Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, “Cursed Child” picks up the story 19 years later, featuring Potter as a 37-year-old overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic and father of three. (Reuters)

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