TERF, A New Play Interrogating J.K. Rowling's Incendiary Legacy, Will Play Edinburgh Fringe | Playbill

Playbill Goes Fringe TERF, A New Play Interrogating J.K. Rowling's Incendiary Legacy, Will Play Edinburgh Fringe

Written by American playwright and screenwriter Joshua Kaplan, he has openly explained that the show is not a hit piece, and has asked Rowling to attend.

Terf Play

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's digital campaign against the transgender community is coming to a head at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

The play, called TERF, imagines Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe (who starred in the films adapted from Rowling’s novels) holding an intervention against the author for her views on gender. The films' cast has been publicly critical of her views, with 2024 Tony winner Radcliffe routinely rejecting her behavior after going no contact with the author.

Currently set to play Assembly Ballroom August 1 through 7, and 11 through 25, the 80-minute play has already had to change venues due to security fears following online backlash. Written by American playwright and screenwriter Joshua Kaplan (Tokyo Vice), he has openly explained that the show is not a hit piece, and has asked Rowling to attend the show.

As he puts it in his writer's note on the show's website, "If you really want to know how I feel about J.K. Rowling and transgender rights and free speech and Twitter and victimization and perpetration and test kitchens and Daniel Radcliffe’s genitals and all the other flotsam floating around my consciousness that wasn’t cut for time or distaste or disinterest, see the play."

Produced by Civil Disobedience and Theatre of the Existential Void, the play is an international collaboration in support of gender equality. The Fringe run stars American Laura Kay Bailey as Jo, Hong Kong born Brit Piers MacKenzie as Daniel, Australian Trelawny Kean as Emma, and Brit Tom Longmire as Rupert.

The term "terf" stands for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist," or put differently, someone who espouses anti-trans views under the banner of so-called feminism. Rowling has become an unusually well-known example of that community, dedicating the majority of her online presence to defending their views while attacking trans individuals and their allies. The situation has been disheartening for many within the Harry Potter fandom, who perceive her views as standing in opposition to the anti-bigotry message that they find in her texts.

That the play will run in Edinburgh is of particular resonance. The Scottish city has been overrun with Harry Potter fans for decades, making the pilgrimage to the city where Rowling wrote the majority of the series. Many of the fictional settings are based on locations within the city. Harry Potter-themed tours are a popular tourist attraction in Edinburgh.

Visit TerfPlay.com for more information.

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