“Cursed Child” lights new wand this summer

Originally published in 2016 March issue of The Beacon magazine for Olentangy High School

An eighth installment of the Harry Potter series comes to London’s Palace Theatre this summer in two parts, called “Cursed Child.”

“It’s a Gothic theatre. There’s a majesty there, and it has this Hogwarts feel to it,” “Cursed Child” playwright Jack Thorne said via pottermore.com.

Thorne and Tony award-winning director John Tiffany collaborated with J.K. Rowling to create the play. They would be hard-pressed to say no.

“I’d asked my three nephews and my grandchildren whether I should do this show. They’d all gone through Harry Potter, and they all said ‘We’ll kill you if you don’t,’” Tiffany said, according to pottermore.com.

Many rumors followed the announcement of “Cursed Child.” Rowling responded via Twitter to false reports of a prequel and a botched title “Unearthly Child” reported by Radio Times.

“Not a prequel. Not unearthly. Magical,” Rowling said on Twitter.

The play stars a grown-up Harry Potter, according to harrypottertheplay.com. An aging Potter, played by Jamie Parker, is dissatisfied with his Ministry of Magic desk job while his fame tortures youngest son, Albus.

Rowling also defended the decision to cast Olivier award-winner and black actress Noma Dumezweni as Hermione. The heroine’s race was never identified in the books, yet some fans are making a ruckus about it.

“Diversifying the character makes Hermione a better character because [she] has more differences to overcome with race and wizard power and sexism,” Erin Devine ‘17 said.

However, no one complained about the lack of red pigment in actor Paul Thornley’s hair, who plays Ron.

“We’re all preoccupied with race and women’s physical appearance in the media. Yet Harry had blue eyes instead of green in the movie, and now Ron is different. It just shows [boys appreciate the character’s true value over the character’s appearance]. No one cares about Rupert Grint,” Devine said.

To monitor the arrival of the play, visit harrypottertheplay.com for more up-to-date information on the show’s development and a countdown to the release. For those unable to see their favorite characters come to life onstage, the play’s script book comes out July 31 this summer. But the new mode of writing could damage the Harry Potter reading experience.

“There’s so many of the books that you become accustomed to a certain writing style. To change that at the very end might make it difficult for readers to enjoy,” school librarian Kaelin Harrison said.

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