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Riverside School first to pilot Harry Potter production

Broadway Licensing Global (BLG), a global leader in theatrical licensing and distribution, has announced that Riverside School is the first ever school in the UK to produce pilot productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child School Edition. The school will have the opportunity to host the first-ever production of the School Edition in March this year.

After a month-long evaluation process, BLG and the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child assessed applications from numerous schools before landing on Riverside as the final selection for the UK. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Riverside School in the UK […] be the first to present this Schools Edition of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the entire team is looking forward to supporting the students and teachers in bringing the story to life for the first time on a school stage,” said producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender.

Hoboken High School in Hoboken, New Jersey, was the first school to be selected to do the same in the US, BLG also announced.

In addition to each school being in close physical proximity to the BLG London and New York offices, respectively, for collaboration purposes, “it was critical to us that we identify schools with facilities and resources most similar to the greatest number of schools worldwide,” said Sean Cercone, founder and chief executive officer of BLG.

Riverside School is a state school with standard stage, lighting, and sound equipment. As well, like most educational drama department budgets, each programme is, in large part, financially self-reliant and without the benefits of private donations, endowment funds, or state-of-the-art provisions. “These pilot productions are a learning process for us, to ensure that any school, regardless of its resources or budget, can produce this show with success,” Cercone continued. “We cannot wait to collaborate with Riverside and Hoboken High and use our learnings to provide helpful information to schools that will produce the show in the future.”

Riverside School plans to produce its pilot production between 20-23 March 2024. Teachers and administrators at any secondary or high school worldwide can sign up to receive updates as to when and how to license Harry Potter and the Cursed Child High School Edition in 2024.

“We’re over the moon that our students will have the opportunity to put on this incredible show,” said Kennedy Bloomer, head of performing arts at Riverside School. “The students are really excited to perform and are working hard in rehearsals for two hours a week. We also have a student set design club set up for budding designers that has been overrun and a voluntary student stage management team who have been the most incredible support during rehearsals and the planning stages,” she continued.

Bloomer said the students have also been invited to a West End performance which will give them the chance to “watch both parts and see their full character which they are thrilled about”.

Roles were chosen by audition and over 300 students signed up. Students from years 7-12 attending a first round and then final recalls were held for roles. “The casting process took us a while as there was so much talent and everyone tried so hard. They’ve been busy learning lines, practising outside of rehearsals and prop-hunting,” Bloomer noted.


By Venilia Amorim

Local resident and REB member

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