Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is officially the eighth Potter story
Ok, Harry Potter fans, we have some good news, some bad news, and possibly some more good news for you.
To begin with, after a whole lot of speculation, J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website officially confirmed that the upcoming play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will be the eighth Harry Potter story. It will take place after the Deathly Hallows epilogue, and focus on Harry’s family, specifically his youngest son, Albus.
That’s the good news. The bad is that it is currently only scheduled for London.
If it is a hit – and it would be shocking if it weren’t – the play will almost certainly open new productions on the play(s) in major cities with theater districts all around the world. New York would be the obvious choice for the second location, and then it will probably spread. You can probably count on there being touring companies as well, making their way city to city.
No matter how widespread it gets though, it will always be performed in front of a limited audience. Even if you live in London, there are only going to be a few shows per week, and you’ll need to fight the crowds not once, but twice to see the whole story.
The play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be presented in two parts, which will debut and run jointly. Curtains go up in London on July 30, 2016, with the preview being held on June 7, 2016.
The two parts are meant to be seen in either the same day, or over a short period of time. It’s not entirely clear how this will work, given that both shows are to be held at the Palace Theater and presumably feature the same cast. Part 1 may be the matinee and Part II the evening event. However they present it though, you will need to buy two tickets.
The big question has been what the show will be about. Cursed Child is written by Jack Thorne and directed by Olivier and Tony award-winner John Tiffany, and it is done in collaboration with Rowling. When the play was initially announced, no one was sure if it would a spin-off, a prequel, an adapted version of the existing stories, or something else entirely.
The synopsis has now officially been released, and it confirms that Cursed Child is the continuation of the Harry Potter series.
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.
It may seem like an odd choice to take one of the most successful franchises of all time and continue it in a medium that is inaccessible to most, but there are reasons, apparently.
“It is very exciting to explore Harry’s world in a brand new way through the live form of theatre,” Rowling said.
‘The story only exists because the right group of people came together with a brilliant idea about how to present Harry Potter on stage. I’m confident that when audiences see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child they will understand why we chose to tell this story in this way.”
If you are a fan of the theater, this is great news. Harry Potter helped breath life into print literature for many, and the property could help revitalize the theater medium, at least to some degree.
People will come to seeCursed Child, many will probably even travel a long way just to see the continuation of the Potter story, and at least some will probably leave with a new love of the theater. All it takes is a few kids that see the play and are inspired by it – and a few adults that are impressed by the play’s success.
That’s great for an industry that is still amazing to behold, but has become minimized over the years by TV and film.
Still, there are plenty of people that are rabid Potter fans who will have no chance to see the play on stage. Even if a touring production makes it everywhere imaginable, tickets probably won’t be cheap – and you need to buy two sets of them.
It may take time, but there will probably be a point where the play is either adapted as a new film, or the staged performance is recorded and sold.
If you can’t make it to London and still need your Harry Potter fix, the first of a trilogy of prequel movies set in the Potter Universe is set to premier next year. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place decades before Potter, Voldemort, or any of the familiar characters were even born, and it features a new lead: Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne.
The first film will debut on November 18, 2016; the second is set for November 16, 2018; the third film will hit theaters on November 20, 2020.
As for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II, tickets go on sale on October 28.