Stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child introduces all sorts of new characters, locations and magical concepts, but it also likes to borrow liberally from the past – namely, the original Harry Potter book series, which it mostly serves as a sequel to.
If you don’t mind very mild spoilers, read beyond the break to find out which of JK Rowling’s book scenes made it to the West End…
19 Years Later aka The Epilogue
When the logo for the Cursed Child was revealed to be a twisted version of a Golden Snitch, we were a little confused – but after seeing the play it all makes sense.
You see, just like the snitch that held the Resurrection Stone in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (which could only be opened by Harry at a certain point), this play opens at the close – in other words it begins as the books ended, with Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione sending their kids off to Hogwarts for Albus Severus Potter’s first year.
The epilogue is recreated pretty much word-for-word and is a real treat for book fans – at least until the happy Potter family starts facing some problems…
Yer a wizard, Harry
The moment Harry Potter discovered he was a wizard was a truly magical one for readers, and so it’s little wonder that Jack Thorne and John Tiffany bring it to life on stage. We won’t tell you how, exactly, but it is rather creative and quite magical.
Let’s not forget, this is the moment Harry (and the reader) first discovers the truth about his past. The revelation about his parents’ murder was a pivotal moment in not just the Boy Who Lived’s life, but in the Potter narrative as a whole.
But more on that one later…
The First Triwizard Task
Here be dragons! Well, in the book at least.
We want to do our best to #KeepTheSecrets on this one, but let’s just say you see the first task from a whole new perspective…
The Second Triwizard Task
The Triwizard tournament’s trip beneath the lake is brilliantly realised onstage, with the competitors seeming to float in the air as they aim for their submerged loved ones.
The Third Triwizard Task
Cedric Diggory’s death plays a massive role in Cursed Child, as do the events leading up to it.
Prepare to be a-MAZE-d. That’s all we’re saying.
The night Lord Voldemort murdered Lily and James Potter
Now, this one technically isn’t wholly a recreated book scene (you only hear Lily’s screams in Harry’s head, or get an idea of what happened in Godric’s Hollow in dream sequences), but it’s such a pivotal moment in the series that its inclusion in the stage play feels like a big deal. Plus, you know, you do see their murder in the films.
We won’t go into exactly how it’s possible to recreate the night Lily and James died in a play set decades later, but don’t worry about being too traumatised – it’s only the build-up, the reactions of others, and the events that occur in the aftermath that really sell its horrors.
And you thought Minerva and Albus’ conversation on the doorstep at Privet Drive that fateful night was tear-jerking…
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is playing at the Palace Theatre London, and you can find ticket information here