Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Hits the Stage & Bookshelves
It’s been very hard for me to practice restraint and not book a spontaneous trip across the pond to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London’s West End. Now, being within hours of the stage play’s release (and not to mention the pound’s recent fall against the dollar), I imagine things are only going to become more difficult.
For at midnight tonight, we will have a new story within the wizarding world of Harry Potter. It won’t be in a format we’re used to; the release will be a script of the stage play, not a novelization. And while we might be missing the stage, and costumes, and lighting, and actors, I have no doubt that the story will still retain it’s magic. Here’s why.
What’s a World Without a Voldemort?
This story takes place 19 years after the battle of Hogwarts, picking up where the epilogue from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off. Our heroes have all grown up, and are seeing their own children off to Hogwarts. The official synopsis is as follows:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Throughout all seven novels, our main antagonist was Lord Voldemort. And even when wizards spoke of a time before Harry, it was always about the terror Voldemort and his Death Eaters inflicted on the wizarding community for over eleven years.
So what does the wizarding world look like without the infamous snake-face? Will we have some Kylo Ren-esque personality attempting to continue his work, speaking to the destroyed Resurrection Stone?
I’m extremely curious to see how the world has recovered after Voldemort’s second demise. What does Harry’s work look like at the Ministry of Magic? How have wizard/muggle relations changed? Who are the Aurors hunting now? What do wizarding parents tell their children of Voldemort? Have people finally begun to use his actual name?
Much like the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the most exciting part of this script is to see Rowling’s world expand.
Preview Photos are Captivating
The play has been in previews at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End since the beginning of June, and the released photos are absolutely spellbinding. The images appear to give the play a more mature tone, with ominous lighting and grave expressions.
Take this image of Harry, obviously perturbed by something, fists clenched and brows furrowed. We see a painting of Dumbledore in the background — could he still be giving advice to Harry, much like the previous headmaster portraits at Hogwarts do?
Though the dynamic of our original trio appears to live on.
And perhaps most surprising of all, Harry’s son Albus and Malfoy’s son Scorpius appear to be friends?! Perhaps the stigma of Slytherin has faded in the years post-Voldemort.
Early reviews of the play’s previews have been largely positive. Though thanks to Potter fans not being jerks and Rowling’s plea to #KeepTheSecrets, not a whole lot else has leaked. These images, however, set a realistic tone for that inevitable midnight read-through.
The Magic Lives in your Mind
At it’s core, Harry’s story is as old as time: good triumphs evil and love conquers all. But it’s the characters who keep you entranced. That even though this story might take place in a fictional world, there are individuals who we can all relate to. From the overachieving, know-it-all Hermione, to the class clowns Fred and George, to Harry’s sheer dumb-luck heroism, we paint a vivid picture in our mind of each individual and their mannerisms, welcoming them into our homes and lives.
So while the book tonight may not be a true novel, I have no doubt magic will remain. We’ll once again paint a picture of Harry’s world in our minds as we read through each line in the script. We’ll greet our favorite characters again as old friends, and enthusiastically meet new ones as they enter the scene. Though the sets and actions may not be perfectly described, much like looking in Pensieve, our imaginations will draw every detail.
That same spell that once kept me up all night, eagerly turning pages will be cast again as I dive headfirst into Harry’s world.
I can’t wait.