Jack Thorne may not be the only writer to ever have two shows running on Broadway at the same time — and no doubt there will be more to follow in years to come — but at this particular moment, when pop culture has taken hold of the Great White Way so significantly, he’s represented by two giant shows (one of them literally!) in the form of King Kong and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
“I feel incredibly lucky; it’s been a strange few years and I feel very fortunate to be in this situation,” offers the British playwright and screenwriter, who wrote the book to the Kong musical and the Harry Potter script from a story by himself, J.K. Rowling, and John Tiffany. “It’s been a joyous process from beginning to end, and I can’t quite believe it’s happened to me. I’m grateful to everyone who gave me these opportunities, and I hope I haven’t let them down.” Not very likely.
King Kong stars Christiani Pitts as struggling actress Ann Darrow in 1930s New York, who accepts director/showman Carl Denham’s (Eric William Morris) invitation to adventure and stardom on a journey to the mysterious “Skull Island.” There they encounter Kong, a 20-foot tall gorilla that develops affection for Ann, and through her is lured into a trap by which he’s incapacitated, brought to New York as a tourist attraction of sorts (in the 1933 film he was billed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”), escapes from a Broadway theater, climbs to the top of the Empire State Building — bringing Ann along for the ride — and is ultimately shot down by bi-planes. In between the mayhem, however, there is a genuine connection formed between this particular beauty and the beast. “For me,” relates Jack, “it’s a beautiful story about otherness and about the way that we as humans deal with it.”
Scroll down for more of Closer Weekly‘s exclusive new interview with Jack about both King Kong and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!