J.K. Rowling on “Cursed Child” Fan Expectations
J.K. Rowling has revealed how the weight of expectation for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child made her “anxious,” in a new interview alongside playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany following the first preview performances this week.
Tiffany explains how it came to be that the three of them are credited as writers of the play, saying,
The three of us talked and discussed and cogitated the story through discussion, which Jack then wrote down, and we didn’t start writing the play as such […] until we had agreed on what that story was.
Rowling, who commended Thorne’s “amazing script,” elaborated on what has been her overriding concerns throughout the process.
I don’t think I realized how anxious I was, to tell you the absolute truth. I mean, this is putting me back ten years. ‘Potter’ attracted a lot of madness and a lot of hype. And going back into that place, I realized on Wednesday morning how anxious that had made me. […] I knew how much expectation there would be, and I didn’t want to let fans down.
When asked if the fanbase now has ownership of Potter, Rowling said,
I wouldn’t go that far. Because that would be to disavow what that world was to me. Seventeen years that world was mine, and for seven of those years it was entirely mine – not a living soul knew anything about it. And I can’t just uproot that from all the personal experiences that inform those stories and say I’m throwing that away now; that’s how it would feel.
Thorne, a self confessed Potterhead, adds,
As a fan, you want it to be her world, not our world. It’s her world that we’ve been allowed to play in.
Tiffany perhaps had the hardest task, in turning Rowling and Thorne’s ideas into a reality, and presenting that on stage for an audience. He said,
It’s not all bells and whistles. Actually, a lot of it is very, very simple magic and illusion. And stagecraft. So [knock on] wood, there is not a huge amount, really, that could go wrong. What I mean by that is, we’ve done it very, very carefully, so it’s not a kind of a wing and a prayer.
Rowling also divulges that she could not imagine creating another fictional world, which has the same profound impact as the wizarding world. She says,
Nor would I want to. I feel as though I did that, and I love it. It takes up so much mental space; it takes up a lot of space in the actual world now. I think I would be […] a fool’s errand to try and do that again.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is now open for previews at the Palace Theater in London. The official opening is Saturday, July 30, and the script will be released in all major book stores on Sunday, July 31. Have you gotten tickets to see it yet? What do you make of Rowling’s comments? Let us know your thoughts!