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Book Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

What it is: an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Play directed by: Jack Thorne

Review:

Some of my happiest childhood memories involve midnight releases of the Harry Potter books. My brothers, parents and I would all go to the book store together and, God bless them, my parents would have to buy four copies of every book since we refused to share. I dressed up as Hermione, Tonks, and Bellatrix for Halloween, a book release, and a movie premiere respectively (the latter earned me concerned looks from theater-goers). At one point, I developed a large, irrational crush on Harry. No, not Daniel Radcliffe. Book Harry. As I type this, I’m rocking a tank top with the Dark Mark on it. I grew up with J.K.Rowling and her beautiful, rich world. Honestly, those books helped shape the person I am today. So, yes, I’m a gigantic Harry Potter fan.

When I heard that there was a new play being written with a whole new story, I was apprehensive. “Harry’s story ended,” I thought, bitterly. “And who tf is Jack Thorne?!”
I felt weirdly protective of Harry Potter, as I’m sure a lot of fans did upon first hearing the news. However, when it was announced that the script would be released, I knew I’d get my grubby hands on it immediately like some sort of crazy person. I missed the excitement and adrenaline rush of starting a new book about the adventures of the Boy Who Lived.

Pardon my nostalgia, but that’s exactly what Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is: a book of memories. Old characters pop up in new and interesting ways, while new characters are introduced and immediately feel like old pals. However, what’s really awesome is that the book (or script, whatever you’d like to call it) doesn’t repeat roles we’ve seen before. Albus isn’t a carbon copy of Harry and Scorpius is nothing like Draco. Both young men have their own voices and we’re reminded of that as the story unfolds.

So! Spoiler free synopsis if you just read the names “Albus” and “Scorpius” and have no idea who I’m talking about. This tale, while inclusive of other plot points, mostly focuses on Albus Potter (Harry’s son) and his struggle to become his own man separate from his father. Scorpius (Draco’s son) is dealing with a similar predicament and the two develop an unexpected friendship. There’s a new threat to the wizarding world and all of the characters band together to defeat it.

One of the most interesting themes of the story is definitely “family”. We see Harry at his most vulnerable, trying desperately to connect with his son, a task that proves almost as difficult as beating Voldemort. Dumbledore once said, “Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young.” Harry and Albus don’t understand each other and, because of my love for Harry, I found myself getting frustrated with his wayward son often.

JUST GIVE HIM A BREAK, ALBUS, GAHD.

While Harry and Albus’s relationship is strained, others have only grown stronger in the past 19 years. Ron and Hermione made me say “relationship goals” out loud more than once. Let’s be honest, theirs is the most underrated love story of all time. When the two of them interact with Harry you’re reminded of the old days and all that the three of them have gone through. You feel like you’ve been friends with them your whole life, and some of us pretty much have.

Opinion: did someone slip Amortentia in my wine? Because I’m totally in love with this book. It’s fresh and new while also maintaining everything that drew fans to the series in the first place.
So, reader, if you’ve been on the fence about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, fear not: it is, dare I say it, magical.

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First Look at the ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Cast!

The official Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast portraits were recently unveiled by Pottermore, and spoiler alert, they’re bloody brilliant.

Check out the magical photos below!

Jamie Parker as Harry Potter

Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter

Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter

(Some of) the Potters!

Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley

Noma Dumezweni as Hermoine Granger

Cherrelle Skeete as Rose Granger-Weasley

The Weasleys!

Alex Price as Draco Malfoy

Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy

The Malfoys!

In addition to these glorious photos, Pottermore also released a short behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoot! 

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an upcoming play written by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne. The production will be directed by John Tiffany and will include the musical stylings of Imogen Heap.

The story takes place many years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ended.

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. – Pottermore

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens at the Palace Theatre London in July 2016, with preview performances beginning June 7, 2016.

Are you impressed by the cast and costumes? Let us know in the comments!

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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Book Release!

Well, it has been nine years since the last Harry Potter book was released, and five since the last movie hit theatres.

This year, all things magical are about to take over the world again because the series will go on for years and years and new generations will find, discover and love it.

Today Pottermore announced that the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1&2, which releases this summer on stage in London, will release simultaneously in script book form. This is especially exciting news since not everyone has the funds and abilities to travel to England, and hell, even if you live in England these tickets are coveted and sold out through March 2017 (I know, I looked already because I’m traveling to Ireland/England this winter and the cheapest tickets I could find were like $2000 American. Big fat nope there).

Also being released will be the rehearsal addition, meaning at the time of first showing, this is what will be said on stage. Through rehearsals and reviews, we can only expect there to be revisions made, and later in the year the Definitive Collector’s Edition will release, which will be the amended and final version.

The rehearsal edition will be available for purchase on July 31, 2016, which is Harry’s birthday of course.

From Pottermore, the premise of the play is as follows:

The eighth story. Nineteen years later.

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.

You kind of have to wonder where this will eventually lead to, and whether there will be more than just this single book/play to come in the future. Part of me wants to see his son sort into any house other than Slytherin, but on his way to becoming a dark wizard. I think that might be an unpopular opinion, but you never know, I could be nailing it on the head.

October 2016 also sees the release of the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by Jim Kay.

2017 is the 20th anniversary of the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK, and to honor this occasion, they will once again be re-releasing the first book, this time Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff themes. The Hogwarts library of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Tales of Beetle the Bard will see new versions, Fantastic which of course is being expanded upon.

THAT’S NOT ALL THOUGH FOLKS! Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them also will be released this year on November 18, 2016 and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Los Angeles opens April 7, 2016.

THAT’S A LOT OF HARRY POTTER FOR ONE YEAR… and then some!

What are you most excited to see from the Harry Potter universe? Let us know in the comments!

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Harry Potter Play to Open Next Year!

Muggles rejoice! Harry Potter is getting the theatrical treatment!

J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany have joined epic forces to bring a brand new, never before told story about Harry Potter to the stage.

The play, titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, opens next summer at the Palace Theatre in London, with tickets going on sale this autumn.

Rowling announced the exciting news this morning (well, her morning) on her official website.

We don’t know much about the plot of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet, but we do know that it will be set when Harry was just a wee lad, still an infant in the ways of magic.

She actually teased the play a couple years ago (yup, this has been in production for a while!) in an official release, releasing these plot details:

This brand new play, which will be developed for the UK theatre, will explore the previously untold story of Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast. Featuring some of our favourite characters from the Harry Potter books, this new work will offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard.  A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom Destiny has plans…

Although it will tell the untold story of Harry’s early years, the play will NOT be a prequel, a fact which Rowling herself stressed on Twitter:

This means that the story will most likely take place during one of Harry’s summer breaks from Hogwarts, a time frame that was rarely explored in the books.

But don’t expect to hear many plot details from Rowling! She will be keeping tight lipped about the play until it premiers next summer in London.

There is no word yet on whether or not the show will ever expand to Broadway in New York City, but for the sake of Potter fans everywhere lets sure as hell hope so!

How do you feel about Harry Potter hitting the stage? Let us know in the comments! 

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