“Cursed Child” Director John Tiffany on Meeting Jo and Becoming a Part of the “Harry Potter” World

The fandom is still abuzz over last week’s revelation that the Harry Potter stage play, originally announced in 2013, is going to be called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Although we still don’t have many details about the content of the play, we do know that it’s NOT a prequel and that it may focus on Lily and James’s life before they were murdered by Voldemort. Another topic of speculation among fans has been the fact that J.K. Rowling didn’t actually pen the script for the play – instead, she developed the story along with director John Tiffany and playwright Jack Thorne, who actually wrote the play.

Now collaborator and director John Tiffany has given his first interview about what it’s like to be a part of such a highly anticipated production – and tells how he met J.K. Rowling 20 years ago when she was still writing the first Harry Potter book.

Says Tiffany of his early acquaintance with Rowling,

I first met Jo years ago when we didn’t know who each other was. I had just started at the Traverse in Edinburgh, and now and again I would see a woman with a pram writing in longhand in the cafe. She’d write in Nicholson’s, [t]he Elephant House and the Traverse cafe. We knew each other to nod at. I’d be having meetings with writers and actors, and I’d see her. Eventually we’d say hello to each other, and a year later – bam!. Then I realised that’s what she[‘d been] doing.

What an amazing story!

Tiffany goes on to say how relieved he is that he can finally share that he’s a part of this amazing project and what drew him to Cursed Child to begin with.

It’s such a relief to be able to talk about this now, especially the fact that it’s not a prequel, which was the product of wild speculation. Luckily Jo has more than a few followers on Twitter, so she could take control of it. My mum has been asking me, ‘When can I tell people in Morrison’s?’. So now she can.

It was my three nephews and my colleague Vicki Featherstone’s two kids who said to me, ‘You have to do this’ when I first spoke to them about it… that, coupled with the fact that the story was about a young boy trying to deal with the death of his parents, really appealed to me.

After complimenting the enormous role Rowling’s books have played in getting children and adults alike to actually read, John also reveals that they’ve been working with actors since the beginning of the year and (unlike Fantastic Beasts) aren’t looking to cast big Hollywood names in the roles – nor are any of the cast of the films likely to reprise their roles in the stage play. He ends his interview with a note about Harry Potter‘s connection to Scotland:

I also think it’s an important story for Scotland. It’s important that Scotland feels it has a connection. Jack (Thorne, who has worked with Rowling and Tiffany on the script), and I worked together on my last show for National Theatre of Scotland, Let The Right One In. I’d love for this to eventually tour to places like Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness as well as around the world. Scotland is present in the Harry Potter stories.. .the country is a place [that] feels very alive in these stories. And there’s that lovely sense of it all coming full circle.

Be sure to read the full interview here!

How are you all feeling about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Anybody making a trip overseas to see it?

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.