Like many other millennials, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I grew up reading and re- reading the books, as well as attending every midnight movie premiere (despite repeatedly debating with my parents on why I should be allowed to go on a school night). Before the seventh and final book came out, I spent count- less hours making predictions about everything that I could. After going through the emotional trauma of the last film’s release, I thought the Harry Potter chapter of my life had come to a close.
Flash forward to this past June, when J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a newly written play, will premiere in London starting in May of 2016. Fans worldwide were vocal about both their excitement and their skepticism as to what the play would be about. Just recently the official description was released and suggests that the play will parallel Harry’s struggle as a married father of three with his youngest son Albus’ struggle with the family legacy.
Like many others, I am torn. On one hand, I believe that J.K. Rowling can do no wrong. I’ve never even met the woman and I would trust her with my life.
“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 the story in this way,” Rowling said.
If she thinks that there is another part of the story that needs to be told, and can confidently say that the best way to do so is on the stage, then I am all for it. This isn’t the first famous franchise to tell its story via multiple media platforms. The Matrix series consists of three movies, with multiple video games and fan pages online that elaborate and expand the complex world in which the story takes place. So isn’t this the same thing? With all the Harry Potter fan fiction, video games, board games, movies, books and even “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL, doesn’t it make sense that there should be a play too?
That said, I’m still skeptical. Rowling chose to write Harry Potter’s story in seven installments because in the series the number seven plays a large role and is known to be the most magical number. Adding an eighth story completely undermines that initial detail.
More obviously, it will be extremely difficult for anyone who doesn’t already live in London to see the play. Limiting the location of perfor- mances privileges those who live in the United Kingdom as well as those who are wealthy enough to afford a quick hop over the pond to see the show. This will be torturous for those of us mere Muggles who want nothing more than to see the play live but don’t have the capability to apparate there. There still is no news as to whether the script will be released to the public or if the show will go on some sort of world tour in order to expand its accessibility, but I’m keep- ing my fingers crossed.
Ultimately, I’m sure Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be nothing less than magical. J.K. Rowling does it best, and I can’t wait to see more of the story, even if I have to hijack a hip- pogriff or fly on a broomstick to get there.
Ali Hinchcliffe (firstname.lastname@example.org) ’16 is from Stillwater, Minn. She majors in English with concentrations in educational studies, film studies and media studies.