Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

By John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling

“GINNY: After I came out of hospital — everyone ignored me, shut me out — other than, that is, the boy who had everything — who came across the Gryffindor common room and challenged me to a game of Exploding Snap. People think they know all there is to know about you, but the best bits of you are — have always been — heroic in really quiet ways. My point is — after this is over, just remember if you could that sometimes people — but particularly children — just want someone to play Exploding Snap with.”

For a play, I thought this was a worthy edition to the Potter canon. But it’s not great like the books and it’s not written by J.K. Rowling, so it shouldn’t be judged as such. The epilogue of The Deathly Hallows serves as the jumping off point to the story. What could be more appropriate and welcome? The adventure centers around Albus, the estranged son of Harry, and Scorpius Malfoy who, after both are sorted into Slytherin, become close friends. In a misbegotten effort to prevent the death of Cedric Diggory, by the use of a forbidden and illegal time turner, they rain down disaster and darkness on the Wizarding World and their own families. Lots of scenes from the original 7 books are revisited and we are treated to some alternate realities in which, for one, Ron and Hermione never fall in love and get married and Harry Potter is killed by Voldemort. It’s not nice to try to change history. It has somewhat of an “It’s a Wonderful Life” vibe in places. Some of the ways the boys unintentionally change history are overly fanciful and fan fictiony, but the script fits in. Potterheads should not be outraged, and I was not disappointed. There are lots of cameo appearances by many beloved and hated characters from the books and movies, and I believe it when I read what a crowd and critic pleaser the actual West end play is.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

August 2, 2016

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