Large-scale live action Harry Potter role play returns for a second edition as a Polish castle is transformed into a 'College of Wizardry' for four days. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: It was witching hour on Thursday (April 9) night at the fairytale Czocha castle in Poland, as a Harry Potter-themed live action role play (LARP) cast its spell over more than a hundred would-be sorcerers. Clad in capes and hats, the 130 participants of the College of Wizardry resembled many normal graduation students - except for added wands. Their own four-day course is set to follow a purely 'magical' curriculum, with classes such as 'Physical Defence and Geomancy' designed to charm fans of the Harry Potter franchise. Attendees take part as both actors and audience, playing students, teachers and ghosts at a school of sorcery heavily based on JK Rowling's Hogwarts, where the hero of her wildly successful Harry Potter novels learns wizardry between bouts of fighting off the dark arts. After news of the initial residential in November 2014 bewitched global fans, two more were organised for April 2015 and keen 'students' signed up from across the globe. All students are provided with their own school books, carefully prepared in advance to preserve the game's fantasy world. But it's not all toil and trouble. Students are free to try and tame the magical creatures in the forest, explore hidden basements, visit the local tavern and, above all, further their characters' narratives. Warners Bros., owners of the rights to the franchise's film series, are allowing the explicitly Harry Potter themed events starting on April 9 and on April 16 to go ahead, but to avoid potential jinxes the non-profit organisers, Poland's Livefrom and Denmark's Rollespilfabrikken, have agreed to omit overt references to the books or films for any future hocus-pocus -- with plans and enthusiasm for new sessions already bubbling away. Further College of Wizardry sessions are planned for November 2015 according to the group's crowdfunding page, where they also hope to raise money to purchase a castle as a long-term home for the venture.