Scholastic and Brown both say there are no plans to do an audiobook of the eighth Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Last February, fans went into rapture at the second coming of Harry Potter to books stores, a decade after the last installment of his story was published. For many, being able to buy the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the closest we’ll get to seeing it performed on stage in London. But for those who were hoping to have it acted out another way for them, it looks like we may be disappointed–at least for now.
Audiobooks are their own special version of having a book performed for you. For many they are the savior of long commutes in the car, and the only way they get to consume books in a busy lifestyle that doesn’t allow for much downtime for reading. For the pickier people, it’s an art form to be celebrated and appreciated, which is why some in the US go to lengths to get the far superior Stephen Fry performance of the Potter audiobooks, even though they are technically not supposed to be available on this side of the pond.
But if they were hoping to be able to purchase Cursed Child as an audiobook to be performed and read aloud to them, it’s sad news. According to SnitchSeeker, both US publisher Scholastic and UK publisher Little, Brown confirmed that there are no plans to release it as an audiobook at this time. One can both understand the position. After all, this is a script of a play–to have an audio book of it being performed would be competition to the stage show, which is what Rowling and company are banking on being a hit. They don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot by having a voice only version that fans could flock to instead.
But it’s also disappointing and frustrating. One would think that doing an audiobook would be a particularly good idea, since this is a script being published. For those not familiar with reading scripts, it’s not going to be easy going–and there are millions of fans who will never get to see the show performed live. Like the best-selling Hamilton soundtrack, an audiobook would be the closest they could get to ever seeing it.
Snitchseeker ends on a hopeful note that an audiobook could come later, after the publishers see enough sales of the book, or once the stage play has run long enough that Rowling and company stop worrying about an audiobook being competition. Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it comes to pass sooner rather than later.