Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Major spoilers for the main Harry Potter series.

Series creator J.K. Rowling, alongside John Tiffany, wrote this play serving as a follow-up to the former’s Harry Potter books, opening with the Potters and Weasleys meeting at Platform 9 ¾, with Albus Severus, Harry’s second son, worried about being sorted into Slytherin during his initiation into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his father assuring that he doesn’t care which House he’s inducted into, following the epilogue to Deathly Hallows. On the Hogwarts Express, Albus talks with his cousin, Rose Granger-Weasley, and Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius, whose mother Astoria’s illness plays part in the narrative’s events.

Rumor has it that Lord Voldemort fathered a child before his demise, with Scorpius fearful about being a potential candidate of the Dark Lord’s bloodline. Furthermore, life at Hogwarts doesn’t exactly go the way Albus wished, although he and Scorpius become and remain good friends during the story, countering their parents’ rivalry. Harry currently works at the Ministry of Magic, discussing a seized Time-Turner formerly owned by Theodore Nott that can go even further backwards through time than that Hermione, now Minister of Magic, used in their third year to take supplemental courses, and which were all supposedly destroyed in Order of the Phoenix.

Amos Diggory, father of the late Triwizard Tournament champion Cedric and now living at a retirement home for antediluvian magicians, thinks Harry is shutting him out, the Potter patriarch denying the opportunity for him to go back in time and save his son from murder at Lord Voldemort’s hands. Albus overhears this conversation, as does a nurse named Delphini, who claims to be Cedric’s cousin and Amos’ niece. Throughout the play, Harry reflects on the past, although Voldemort taunts him towards the end of each of his reflections, and his scar actually begins to hurt again.

One year on the way northward to Hogwarts, Albus and Scorpius bail from the school’s eponymous train to steal the Time-Turner from the Ministry and go back in time to make Cedric flub in the Tournament and prevent his demise, although doing so has dire consequences demanding rectification, with several alternative timelines exposed with unsatisfactory events. The play is generally a good one, and this reviewer certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it performed, although the time-travel element has been executed by other media such as The Butterfly Effect. Even so, it’s a decent continuation of the Harry Potter pantheon, introducing a new generation of engaging characters.

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