A return to JK Rowling’s world of Wizardry
The first batch of tickets for previews of the upcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child plays have gone on sale – and already all sold out.
If you didn’t get hold of any tickets, you’re by no means alone, and you can be safe in the knowledge that this is probably going to be an enormously popular worldwide hit. So, not much chance of you missing its only run.
That said, if you’re after all the hot news on The Cursed Child, or if you’re not entirely sure what to expect, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the plays:
There are Two Cursed Child Plays
Wait, plays? Plural?
Yes, that’s right – just like how moviemakers split the final Harry Potter book into two movies when it was adapted for screen, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is going to be a two-parter.
According to JK Rowling herself, this is ‘Due to the epic nature of the story’, whatever that means.
Unlike Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two, however, there’s not meant to be a full year’s wait between parts – both will be released simultaneously, and audiences can choose to watch the play’s two parts either on consecutive days, or even on the same day if you feel like watching a matinee performance of the first part.
Considering that the first half of Deathly Hallows mostly involved scenes of Harry and his friends arguing in a forest, here’s hoping that the play, which is designed to be shown in two parts, won’t suffer with pacing issues in quite the same way as the two final movies did.
It’s a Direct Sequel to the Harry Potter Books
When news of The Cursed Child was first announced, it wasn’t certain whether the story would be a prequel to the books.
JK Rowling quashed those rumors, making sure that fans were aware that the plays will be set around twenty years after the events of all the books.
Supposedly, this will mean a story about Harry’s work in the Ministry of Magic, and the struggles that his son, Albus Severus Potter, has dealing with his family’s fame and reputation.
So if you enjoyed that cutesy ‘Nineteen Years Later’ scene from the final book and the weird halfhearted attempts to age Daniel Radcliffe that we saw in the last movie, you should be pleased: this story is going to be more of the same.
If you weren’t a fan of the ending of the books, have faith: this is JK Rowling’s own brainchild and she might just breathe more life into Harry’s kids and the next generation of Hogwarts students.
JK’s Had Some Help
Okay, so as stated above, this is JK Rowling’s brainchild.
The thing is, she hasn’t developed the script all by herself.
While Rowling has been developing the story for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy alone, for Harry Potter and the Curse Child, she’s had some help.
The original story on which the play has been based was developed by Rowling along with the playwright Jack Thorne and the director John Tiffany. Tiffany will be directing the play, and Thorne is responsible for the final draft of the script.
So yes, it’s a JK Rowling original story. That said, she’s taken some help from people who know their way around plays a little better than she does.
This might be part of the reason why Rowling has been so adamant that the theater is the perfect medium for this story – apparently, there’s not going to be a novelization of this particular Harry Potter story any time soon – at least not an official one.
This is interesting. It means that, unlike with the books, there will be no definitive version of this story. Various interchangeable actors giving slightly different performances each day will mean that every audiences will experience the story in a unique way.
Plus, there’ll be no re-reading this story to watch for hidden clues – going to see the plays again will mean seeing a slightly different performance. In a way, that mean’s it’ll be a fresh experience every time.
It’s London Or Bust
At least at first, anyway.
While there’s almost no doubt that The Cursed Child will make its way to theaters around the world, it’s starting solely in the Palace Theatre London. The premier will take place in July of next year, although, as is often the case, those looking to see the plays early had the chance to buy preview tickets for performances in May, as the actors get to grips with the show.
If The Cursed Child proves to be a hit, it’s entirely possible that Warner Brothers will eventually look to adapting the play into a movie (although hopefully only after actors like Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint have grown into the parts enough to look sufficiently old), and it’s almost certain that the play will go on tour or open on Broadway.
That said, with performances starting in just one location, those who’ve got tickets to see the plays need to understand the consequences for giving away spoilers.
So, the final thing you need to know about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: once you’ve seen it, you do not talk about its outside of the theater, unless you want to be hit by a confundus charm. Or an airborne bottle of butterbeer.
What are you hoping to see in the plays? Are you planning to make the trip to London to see it next year? Let us know your Harry Potter thoughts in the comments below.