Editorial: Abracadabra

7 November 2016 Amy Hetherington

Editorial: Abracadabra

As a five-year-old, I fancied myself as a magician. I borrowed all the magic books in the library. I broke open my piggy bank to buy the magic show bag, complete with invisible ink, wand and a retractable plastic knife (most kid friendly!). I was going to own show-and-tell!

With much pizazz, I performed the “Balloon in the Bag” trick to my fellow preps: putting a deflated balloon into a brown-paper shopping bag and pulling out a (pre-prepared) blown-up balloon. Ta-da! The class was wowed…until Brian announced how I’d done it. There was no magic in me; I was a mere Muggle.

Magic has long captured our childhood imaginations, from magicians to witches and wizards to fairy dust. In this edition, we’re celebrating JK Rowling’s wondrous world of Harry Potter; the phenomenon that’s sold more than 450 million books worldwide and launched eight films.

It seems we still need Harry. Earlier this year, avid Potter fans were queuing for copies of new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now comes JK Rowling’s screenwriting debut Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the film set in her fantastical Wizarding World.

While it’s all hocus-pocus to me, thankfully our deputy editor Katherine Smyrk knows her quidditch from her polyjuice potion. So too writer Annabel Brady-Brown who penned our cover story (‘We’re Still Wild About Harry’, p14), and comes most qualified thanks to her tattoo in tribute to HP.

We also speak to Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne (p18) about the art of wand waving. And we find out whether Daniel Radcliffe (p19) will ever don his wizardry robes again.

And the tricks keep on coming. Contributing editor Michael Epis (‘The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Billions’, p20) pulls back the curtain on multinationals to look at the ways they can make millions of dollars disappear.

Amy Hetherington, Editor