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Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2046-6692
  • E-ISSN: 2046-6706



The 2016 launch of the stage production presented fans with their final opportunity – the first in nearly a decade – to reunite with the characters of their beloved series. Running in London’s West End since summer 2016 and transferring to Broadway in 2018, presents an unusual case study of what happens when an author working in other media chooses to continue their own storyworld onstage. This makes it the ideal focus point to explore what happens when theatre and fandom collide. The play script was also published in book format, and quickly became the fastest-selling theatre script since records began. But what did audiences themselves make of this dual rebirth? This article explores how the live performance and the playtext were received by fans as very different forms of afterlife. This has prompted important questions about access. Presented with an extension to their beloved storyworld after so many years, what happens when Harry Potter fans found themselves unable to actually take part in this new theatrical experience? And to what extent was the publication of the script a fair compromise in return for audiences’ undying loyalty? This article analyses both the specific example of and offers a more general exploration of fan-led efforts to democratize access to exclusive live events.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): access; audience research; democracy; Harry Potter; liveness; theatre
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