Throughout the books, we see a lot of reading, but nearly all of it is for school or non-fiction. The only fiction I can remember seeing mentioned is Ron's comic books and Beedle the Bard. Obviously there's no TV or films, but are there plays? Are there other mentions of magical fiction not in the books that I'm missing, like Pottermore or something JK has said?

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    I actually do think there is a distinction between general reading - which is not very likely to come up in the HP books, since they are written from Harry's POV (and he kinda has other stuff to worry about) - and something like the existence of plays and shows, which is more a question about the culture. The other question asks for mention of specific books so far as I understand it, whereas this one enquires about the artistic side of the wizarding world. – BMWurm Sep 17 '14 at 12:08

Well, within The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Dumbledore mentions the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts (W.A.D.A.), so there certainly are plays (even Macbeth type plays):

Professor Beery eventually left Hogwarts to teach at W.A.D.A. (Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts), where, he once confessed to me, he maintained a strong aversion to mounting performances of this particular story, believing it to be unlucky. --Albus Dumbledore on The Fountain of Fair Fortune, Fn. 1, The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

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    Yes BMWurm, if we look at Wizarding Britain being a few centuries behind Muggle Britain one would think theatre or puppetry would be an oft utilized form of entertainment. Or, as they do have a thriving wireless network, the radio shows popular in the 30s-50s. Obviously Harry doesn't come across these as outside Hogwarts he spends very little time in the magical world (maybe the Weasley family are philistines?) – jossgod Sep 17 '14 at 21:30
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    Harry and Ron, whose POV and opinion on these things we are more likely to be exposed to are supposed to be "typical" teenage boys in the way of the usual literary trope - an interest in the opera or plays would be "untypical", but Ron does enjoy the "typical" comic books and sports pastime. So we can hardly make a statement on what exists or even what other Weasleys' like from that one sample point. – Shisa Sep 19 '14 at 1:32

Yes, there are at least some plays.

In the early 1400s (the time period referenced in the previous, but largely irrelevant to the question, paragraph of Quidditch through the Ages), a French wizard named Malecrithad written a play called Hélas, j’ai Transfiguré mes Pieds.

“Around the same time, the French wizard Malecrit wrote the following lines in his play Hélas, j’ai Transfiguré mes Pieds (‘Alas, I’ve Transfigured My Feet’):

GRENOUILLE : I cannot go with you to the market today, Crapaud.
CRAPAUD : But Grenouille, I cannot carry the cow alone.
GRENOUILLE : You know, Crapaud, that I am to be Keeper this morning. Who will stop the Quaffle if I do not?”
- Quidditch Through the Ages

Hélas, j’ai Transfiguré mes Pieds both is, and was originally written with the intention of being, a play. This also shows that plays have existed in the wizarding world since at least the early 1400s, so have been in the wizarding world for centuries, at least.

In addition, there was an attempt to bring a play to Hogwarts for the Christmas celebrations, and the professor who suggested it was described by Albus Dumbledore as “an enthusiastic devotee of amateur dramatics”, which suggests that there would have to be enough performances for this to be possible.

“The Fountain of Fair Fortune” is a perennial favorite, so much so that it was the subject of the sole attempt to introduce a Christmas pantomime4 to Hogwarts’s festive celebrations.

Our then Herbology master, Professor Herbert Beery,5 an enthusiastic devotee of amateur dramatics, proposed an adaptation of this well-beloved children’s tale as a Yuletide treat for staff and students. I was then a young Transfiguration teacher, and Herbert assigned me to “special effects,” which included providing a fully functioning Fountain of Fair Fortune and a miniature grassy hill, up which our three heroines and hero would appear to march, while it sank slowly into the stage and out of sight.”
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Dumbledore was enlisted to build the special effects, which was the only successful part of the play.

Plays are now entirely banned at Hogwarts.

The attempt at a play didn’t work well, though. In fact, it ended in disaster.

“The curtain had barely risen when Professor Kettleburn’s “worm” — now revealed to be an Ashwinder6 with an Engorgement Charm upon it — exploded in a shower of hot sparks and dust, filling the Great Hall with smoke and fragments of scenery.”
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Since then, plays have been banned at Hogwarts by the headmaster at the time, a tradition that Dumbledore is proud to say continues.

“Headmaster Armando Dippet imposed a blanket ban on future pantomimes, a proud non-theatrical tradition that Hogwarts continues to this day.”
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

While they may exist, Hogwarts is quite pleased to not take part in them.

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