When the chance to return to the fantastical world of Hogwarts is given, the only solution is to take it wholeheartedly.
The entire world voraciously read the Harry Potter saga when it first began in 1997. In the blink of an eye, author J.K. Rowling saw so much success the story became a seven-book adventure that was also adapted into eight movies. Generations of millennials grew up in the wizarding world along with the three main characters Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. As the series was coming to an end a sense of unrest grew among the loyal fans because no one wanted to see the end of the story. Those prayers were answered in October 2015.
Through her Pottermore website, the author announced the creation of a two part play that she co-authored with playwrights Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, titled: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Rowling has written other books under penname Robert Galbraith, but this play is the first work that is a direct continuation of the Potter saga. The play is considered the eighth installment in the story and centers around Harry’s son and a legacy that brings the father and son together in a tumultuous way. The story is the first to be presented on a live stage and the three writers/director shared the excitement for the project stating, “‘It is very exciting to explore Harry’s world in a brand new way through the live form of theatre’”. Rowling went on to say that audience members would truly understand why theater was the form chosen for the story when they see it. The play will be coming to life in the Palace Theatre London in July 2016, but ticket sales have already begun.
Recently the cast has been chosen for the play and has already sparked plenty of news, and controversies. As of December 21st, 2015 the three main characters were casted, Jaime Parker as Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley. These are the only cast members that have been announced as the rest will be announced later, however all three are accomplished stage performers and with many accolades to their title. None of this mattered to some as an uproar spread over the character of Hermione Granger being portrayed by an African-British actress. But both the actress and the author squashed all negative comments in commendable ways. The actress went on to say, “’To say it’s not as it was intended is so unimaginative. I don’t think they understand how theater works. We’re here to heal you, make you smile and whisk you away’”, in an interview with Evening Standard commenting on the racist nature of the comments. The actress was approved in casting by both the author and actress Emma Watson, who played the same role for the movie version of the series. J.K. Rowling expressed her stance through fan interaction by quoting the ambiguous character description of the female wizard in the book. By doing so she confirmed that there is nothing stating Hermione is not a woman of color, and that Rowling herself loves the idea.
The naysayers have no effect on the immense love that’s already grown for this play, the first batch of tickets released in October that covered the first four months of the play’s run time were sold out in the matter of hours. Nothing can stop the Harry Potter love, now it’s all about waiting until July!