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Harry Potter play to make debut on London's West End stage

British author JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series of books, poses during the launch of new online website Pottermore in London J
British author JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series of books, poses during the launch of new online website Pottermore in London J

LONDON (Reuters) - Harry Potter, the world's most famous boy wizard, is set to make his debut on London's West End stage in a new play to be created in collaboration with author J.K. Rowling.

The theatrical production will explore the previously untold story of Harry's early years as an outcast and orphan.

Rowling will co-produce the stage show alongside experienced theatre producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, according to a statement on her website.

"Over the years I have received countless approaches about turning Harry Potter into a theatrical production, but Sonia and Colin's vision was the only one that really made sense to me," Rowling said.

"After a year in gestation it is exciting to see this project moving on to the next phase," she added.

In Rowling's book series, Harry is introduced at the age of 10, living unhappily in a cupboard under the stairs in the home of his aunt and uncle. The new production would "offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard", the statement said.

Rowling will collaborate with a playwright on the new production but will not script it herself. British media said the production was expected to open in 2015.

Rowling's "Harry Potter" book series has sold some 450 million copies worldwide and the eight movies from the Warner Bros. studios have taken more than $7.7 billion at global box-offices, making the films the largest-grossing franchise in history.

Earlier this year Rowling revealed she would also be working on a new Harry Potter-themed film series for the Warner Bros. studio.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

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