Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Cursed Child: Rowling Video Testimony

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on 25 November broke the Broadway record for biggest gross earnings in a week with $2.4 million taken in. The record the play broke was also held by Cursed Child in June of this year ($2.3 million). The interview highlights below, though filmed while Rowling was in New York to highlight the last Crimes of Grindelwald trailer’s release, was only published yesterday. It is, for the most part, pablum. You can read the transcript of the interview highlights here.

Rowling was much more forthcoming in an interview she did with her Cursed Child collaborators last year. You can read the transcript of her September 2017 interview here.

Having only read the play, I’m not a fan of Cursed Child — it’s hard to accept, frankly, that it is a Potter story over which Rowling exercised more than veto power — except for the fact that it is bringing non-theater goers into Broadway and London theater seats. Potter Pundits I admire who have seen the play, though, have important things to say about it, much of it in admiration; four of them chatted with Katy McDaniel and me about the experience of Cursed Child on this ‘Reading, Writing, Rowling’ podcast.

Reading, Writing, Rowling Episode 12: Serious Readers Talk About Cursed Child Performances in NYC, London

“Reading, Writing Rowling” Episode 11: “Experiencing The Cursed Child: London and New York”

A Great Conversation with Potter Pundits who have seen ‘Cursed Child’ on stage in London and New York City!

From the MuggleNet.com Page About the Podcast:

Whether or not you think it’s canon, seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child offers a unique Harry Potter experience. Readers of the script were often disappointed, but those who attend the play rave about it. Are you curious about how Harry Potter aficionados responded to seeing the play?

On this episode, John and Katy interview guests who have seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child either in London or in New York. Dolores Gordon-Smith (author of the Jack Haldean mysteries) and her daughter Elspeth Gordon-Smith (film studies graduate and primary school teacher) saw the play with the original cast in London, while Tracy Bealer (Borough of Manhattan Community College) and Heidi Tandy (FictionAlley and Organization for Transformative Works) have recently seen the Broadway version. We talk about their impressions of the play as a literary event and a fan experience. We’ll hear about their favorite characters, scenes, and special effects and reasons Harry Potter fans will want to go see this play – but also critiques of the story and the interpretation of our beloved wizarding world characters. Come along for impressions and analyses that will whet your appetite for your own experience with the play or allow you to live vicariously through those who’ve had a chance to see the show.

Why should you care about a story Rowling didn’t write? Here are a few urls to catch you up on a play that is taking over the world —

I hope you enjoy learning about what serious readers think of ‘Cursed Child’ as much I enjoyed speaking with them (and having my misconceptions corrected!). Let me know what you think in the comment boxes below!

Voldemort, Delphini, and Oedipus: Complex Folks and Cursed Children

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07:  A general view of The Palace Theatre as previews start today for "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" on June 7, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. The play has a sold out run until May 2017 with fans expected to fly to London from all over the world to see it.  (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

As we continue our thoughts on the recently released rehearsal script of The Cursed Child, one of the big questions early on was the identity of the titular child, but there is really more than one cursed child in the story. In fact, some of the most fascinating elements of the play tie in with one of the most unfortunate children (and adults) in all of literature, Sophocles’ Oedipus; Voldemort’s story already has powerful overtones from that of Oedipus, and this tale continues that trend, with subtle, and not-so-subtle, reminders that He-With-No-Nose and He-with-the-Swollen-Foot are both prophecy-haunted products of broken families whose harmful choices ripple outward to damage all those around them, right up to the blue-haired gal in the new play. (Fair warning, spoilers galore)


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Pepperdine’s Premiere Potter Pundit James Thomas Reviews Jack Thorne’s ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

f21780006I met Pepperdine’s James Thomas in Toronto just a few days after the publication of Deathly Hallows. I think I may have asked him during this conversation over breakfast if he would consider contributing his thoughts here at HogwartsProfessor. I know the Potter Pundits adventure at LeakyCauldron began soon after as did James’ published guides to the literary depths of the Hogwarts Saga. If you haven’t read Repotting Harry Potter: A Professor’s Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader or his Rowling Revisited: Return Trips to Harry, Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch, & Beedle the Bardyou’re overdue for a treat.

I’ve never given up on his joining us here and on MuggleNet academ
ia. Years of teasing, cajoling, out right begging were rewarded yesterday when James sent me his review of the Rehearsal draft script of a story Jo Rowling is said to have something to do with, 
Cursed Child. Enjoy!


Review of Jack Thorne’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

by James Thomas

CursedChildWindowDisplay (1)I Don’t Know What It Is, But It’s Not the Eighth Harry Potter Book

A few weeks ago I was teaching in London only three miles from the theater where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was to open.  Ten or twelve of my students went to see the play, and three of them experienced a Rowling sighting.  While I envied their having seen The Presence (as John Granger calls Her), I didn’t regret missing the performance and didn’t mind waiting a few more weeks to read the “Special Rehearsal Edition” of the play.  All my instincts and previous reading experience told me that whatever I was going to read by Jack Thorne wasn’t going to be an eighth Harry Potter book—no more than the wretched Go Set a Watchman is the second To Kill a Mockingbird.

In fact, having just sailed on another voyage back through the seven-and-only Potter books in my London class, I came away from the rough seas of Cursed Child a bit seasick.  This was an exercise in anticlimax, not unlike rereading Moby-Dick and then encountering Free Willy.  Books that have only one thing in common—whether Harry or whales—can differ in every other conceivable way—in tone, depth, style, and overall literary worth.  I’m certain that reading the play is a far cry from experiencing the wonders and pyrotechnics of the performance; but, having read more than my share of plays, I can also testify that a good play can radiate power and come to life on the page without the “bangs and smoke” of the stage. [Read more…]