Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: #KeepTheSecrets

Published: June 18, 2016
Email

Both parts of the play are receiving rave reviews with audience members saying that they have never experienced anything like this before.

(Warning: Minor spoilers ahead)

The wait is over! Harry Potter fans rejoiced as the first premier performance of JK Rowling’s new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took place on Tuesday and Thursday in London. The long anticipated play which continues from the conclusion of the seventh book focuses on the children of Harry and Ginny, Hermione and Ron, and the much-disliked Draco Malfoy. The play has been divided into two parts, with each part at least two and a half hours long. The official synopsis of the play stated:

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

Theatre-goers remained tight lipped as they came out of the London’s Palace Theatre but the mood was jubilant as the play seems to have continued in the spirit of the Harry Potter books and maintained its theme of love, laughter and most of all, magic. Members of the audience were given pins with the slogan “Keep the Secrets” as they left the theatre; JK Rowling’s Twitter campaign of #KeepTheSecrets seems to have worked as the play remains shrouded in secrecy and no major spoilers have been revealed so far. The website Hypable, however, did reveal some major spoilers about key characters and was told off by JK Rowling for being “wormtaily.”

Wild rumours are flying around that major characters will die and a much-loathed character is going to make a re-appearance at the conclusion of Part One of the play. Both parts of the play are receiving rave reviews with audience members saying that they have never experienced anything like this before. When someone asked JK Rowling whether the play will make them laugh or cry, she responded:

The performance of the cast members including Jamie Parker as Harry, Paul Thornley as Ron, Poppy Miller as Ginny and particularly Noma Dumezweni as Hermione, received excellent reviews.

L-R Noma Dumezweni (Hermione), Jamie Parker (Harry), and Paul Thornley.
Photo: Simon Annand

L-R, Jamie Parker as Harry, Sam Clemmett as Albus and Poppy Miller as Ginny.
Photo: Pottermore

Some controversy over a black actor being appointed in a major role previously played by a white actor (Emma Watson) in the movie, had risen when Olivier-award winning actress Noma Dumezweni was cast in the role of Hermione. JK Rowling herself addressed this by saying that she was disgusted with the behaviour of “a bunch of racists”. She went on to say,

“Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”

Initial reviews suggest that Noma Dumezweni brings new life to the character of “the brown-eyed, frizzy haired and very clever” Hermione that we love and adore and portrays it in a way that shows Hermione’s strength of character and aplomb. A quarter of the cast members are from ethnic minority backgrounds and the diverse and inclusive casting of the play have received much approval.

The play will officially open on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at the Palace Theatre in London. The script of the play already looks to be a bestseller, with thousands of copies of the digital and hardcover versions having been pre-ordered. The copies will be available for sale on July 31 – on the birthday of both Harry Potter and JK Rowling.

Until then, I do solemnly swear to #KeepTheSecrets.

Mahrukh Sarwar

Mahrukh Sarwar

The author is a graduate from Mount Holyoke College in the US.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.