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    • The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play script was published on July 31, 2016, written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. (pagesandpages.com)

The Second Generation of Magic: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Emilia Cottignoli ’18 and Saloni Jain ’19, Assistant Entertainment Editors
The seventh Harry Potter book hit the shelves nine years ago. On July 30, 2016, a new play based on the popular series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, premiered in London. 
 
The special rehearsal-edition script, penned by Jack Thorne  and John Tiffany in collaboration with J.K Rowling, came soon after the premiere to patient fans, transcribed first in English and then translated into many languages for readers around the world.  
 
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features an older Harry Potter, his wife Ginny, and their three children, Lily, James, and Albus. It also includes a small portion about Ron and Hermione, Harry’s two best friends who fought by Harry’s side in the series in order to defeat Lord Voldemort.  

The Cursed Child is intended to tie up any loose ends from the original Harry Potter series and introduces the main characters’ children. “I really like how we see more perspectives than people who are heroes in the classic sense,” said Donasia Gray ’18. 

Alissa Davis, chair of the English Department, commented on the release of the play transcript: “I haven’t yet read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but I’ve seen a lot of publicity for it. I’m always a little suspicious when a long-running series gets taken over by a new writer, but I’m hopeful that the book and play will stay true to the original stories.” 

Writers on the web also shared their suspicions on this continuation of Harry Potter: “Rowling’s epilogue intentionally allowed the future of Harry and the wizarding world to remain a limitless void—one readers could fill in with their own imagination,” said Ramona Tausz, author of the Federalist book review. “It is so far from the Harry Potter world we know and love,” one disappointed reader wrote in a one-star review of The Cursed Child on Amazon.

Ian Melchinger, a Hopkins English teacher, was equally disappointed in the play’s turnout: “The ultimate lesson of the play is that, ‘You don’t have to live up to your famous fathers.’ That might be true, but the story either has to live up to its predecessors or strike on something genuine and new. This story seems to be living off its daddy’s trust fund, trapped between fan-fic, sequel repetition, and a true reboot.”

Other fans enjoyed the new twist. “I think it was a perfect conclusion to such a great series,” Georgia Doolittle ’18 said. “The play did a really nice job of keeping the magic of the books alive while also applying a new layer of realism when it comes to the traumatic years that these characters have faced. Reading it made me so curious to see what the staged production is like!” 

The stage version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child may be worth seeing for all Harry Potter fans. According to The Daily Telegraph, “British theater hasn’t known anything like it for decades.” 
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was described by The Sunday Times as “The Magical Marvel we’ve all been waiting for.”
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