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“The Cursed Child” and the Concerned Fans

The official news confirming the focus of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a sequel to Deathly Hallows following Albus Severus, has been a cause of joy for fans. This is an exciting time for the fandom, but then why are some so angry?

The power of the Potter series has been that the stories have been accessible to all to enjoy. Or at least, it has been until now. With this upcoming story being played out on the stage, there is no chance that everyone will have the opportunity to see it. All of a sudden, the magic of Harry is no longer available to all. The West End is about to get a lot more populated during the play’s run, but there will still be thousands, if not tens of thousands, of fans missing out on the action.

While the story will in no doubt be a huge success, profit wise, there are several problems fans now need to conquer in order to see the magic happen. One of them isn’t all that new – the Studio Tour at Leavesden Studios is, naturally, in the United Kingdom, which prevents fans from other countries and continents from attending the sights. While this provides an excellent reason to travel, most fans didn’t necessarily have to thanks to the Exhibition Tour that toured America and other countries. A similar fix to Cursed Child being in the U.K. could be later transferring the show to Broadway, but this will still exclude those unable to travel to New York.

Not everything can be solved that easily, though, since the aspect of live theater is a problem in itself. Cursed Child being in two parts provides new obstacles for parents who will need to find child care for not only one night but potentially two or need a sitter for an extended amount of hours since children under ten are not permitted into theaters. Many will be left feeling disappointed that they’ll be forced to miss out on the experience.

There is also the concern that by adding onto Harry’s story, the creative imagination inside fans’ brains are about to be shrunk. When the final book was released in 2007, there was plenty left for people to interpret in their own ways, but this additional storyline launches the time-old debate over whether this story should be considered canon. We now know for certain that Cursed Child is not a prequel, but a prequel may have been a way to give fans more information on topics they wish to have confirmed information about.

Two final problems remain, one being the uncertainty of if this means we will soon have a new actor to portray Harry. The synopsis leads some to believe that we will see Harry on stage, which means having a new cast playing the characters we are already well familar with. It could put a bad taste in anyone’s mouth for those who don’t want to share Radcliffe’s portrayal with anyone else.

The play will also limit the experience for fans since the theater only holds 1,400 people. I’m confident the performances will sell out without a problem, but only those individuals will be able to say they saw the story firsthand. I would not be surprised if bootlegs hit the Internet a few weeks into the performances. This, however could be solved if a decision was made to professionally film one showing to then sell to the public.

Ultimately, there is one way to give everyone access to this new adventure, and that is to release it as a book. There is no evidence as of now to indicate that this may later happen, but as one senior staff member, Jessica, pointed out, there is a good chance it will occur. For example, Rowling’s speech that she delivered at Harvard’s commencement in 2008 was later published for purchase. How long might it take for this to happen? Your guess is as good as mine.

Despite all the reasons to shy away from the production, there is still an incredible aura of excitement traveling the globe, including the hashtag #HarryPotterisBack, which trended on Twitter yesterday. We have months until previews begin, and until then, we cannot fully judge what is to come. The story is one Rowling wishes to share as she captivates us with Albus Severus, and she has never operated with ill intentions in the past.

For those, like myself, who plan to travel to see the show, it’s time that we read up on West End theater etiquette so that we are prepared for the new world we are about to enter to revel in a two-part experience with our favorite boy wizard.

You can find more information about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child here.