Do we really need a magical new Harry Potter play?

Fans will undoubtedly buy tickets, but let's hope it isn't a massive let-down

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The Independent Online

From the moment my mum ushered me into our kitchen and handed me a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the boy wizard with a lightning shaped scar on his head and adventure in his heart has been part of my life.

The first editions of each new book were delivered to my door in discreet cardboard boxes that divulged nothing of the wonders within. It would take me less than twenty four hours to plough my way through each one, achievements which garnered a certain amount of street cred among my peers. I finished the final book at a party. As friends danced around me, I glugged my Bacardi Breezer and turned the final pages.

I may be a die-hard witch wannabe who wishes Hogwarts offered a post-grad course, but as I read the news today that J.K Rowling is to co-produce a "magical new stage play" based on the best-selling books I felt as though I’d been hit by the Whomping Willow.

It's not just my fear the play will fail (Viva Forever, anyone?) that fills me with an almost prophetic sense of dread. Nor is it the fear that the legacy of Harry Potter will be forever tainted for many fans if the production bombs.

No, instead, it's the thinly veiled greed of many involved with 'comeback tours' that really gets up my nose. Too many good things have been ruined by an apparently insatiable desire to make more money.

The new Hobbit trilogy is a case in point. J. R Tolkien's enchanting fairy tale, full of legend and dragons, has been mauled by Hollywood, who seemingly sought to make as much dosh out of it as possible. The plot has been divided into three tenuous parts, each one probably more tedious than the last. The third one is still to come. The money keeps coming in though, and I suppose that's all that matters.

Of course, reviving something long since dead is nothing new. Many a warring nineties band have pretended to bury the hatchet so old fans might buy tickets to their reunion tour. The Monty Python reunion, announced last month, is another example of a gang of has-beens using their former glories. And let's not mention Sex and the City 2. 

Ultimately, the well-paid bigwig whose job it is to put Harry Potter on stage knows tickets will sell, regardless of how crap the show might be. The story is so loved, so missed, so much a national treasure, Mr Bigwig can pretty much guarantee a sell-out first run. As corporate pockets fill with lolly, if the show is bad, shell-shocked fans would leave the auditorium wondering why the hell they spent £50 on tickets to watch a man with a child's broomstick straddled between his legs, hanging from a poorly disguised wire. Farcical? Maybe. Magical? Definitely not.

The final Harry Potter instalment teaches us that no matter how much we want to resurrect something, it will always only be a ghost of its former self. Maybe it's time Rowling took a leaf out of her own book.