The stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the latest foray into the wizarding world that J.K. Rowling conjured up nearly twenty years ago, adding new insights into her fictional universe that continues to charm millions around the globe. The stage production is the first of many new additions to the Potterverse, preceding the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first film in a new trilogy due out in November. The new movies, the continued expansion of Pottermore.com (an ever-growing interactive encyclopedia about the wizarding world), and the sold out shows of The Cursed Child through 2017, proves the love for Harry’s magical world is as strong as ever.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks right up where the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left off, with a grown Harry Potter and company sending their own children off to Hogwarts. The play focuses on Harry’s second son, Albus Severus Potter, as he struggles to come to terms with being the son of the world’s most famous wizard. Sorted into Slytherin House and befriending Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry’s old rival Draco Malfoy, Albus appears to be the polar opposite of his father. Harry and Albus’ strained relationship has serious implications for the entire wizarding world, however, when a newly discovered time turner emerges and threatens to send the past, and present, into darkness.
Living in the US, I haven’t had the opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, however, the play was a fun and exciting read with lots of twists and turns. I enjoyed the introduction of new characters, with Scorpius Malfoy being a real treat, but finding myself less than thrilled with the portrayal of characters I know and love. To make the plot of the play work, certain characters’ backstories needed to be altered while others acted in uncharacteristic ways—most notably Harry Potter himself. As a diehard Harry Potter fan, these choices pained me. I suppose it was inevitable for the property’s canon to fracture as it expands past its original incarnation. So, for this reader at least, I’m just going to pretend this this never happened. Obliviate!