By Erica Laidler (A&E Editor).
Fans across the world have not seen the last of nearly headless men, soaring broomsticks, and flesh-eating slug repellent – the story of Harry Potter is not over yet.
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, and Jack Thorne teamed up to write Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts 1 & II, a play that will begin in May at London’s Palace Theatre on July 30. A hardback edition in the form of a script will be released to the public the day after.
“I thought we were done with the [Harry Potter] books,” said Sharon High School Junior Noor Houdroge. “He won the…war. We’re done. I don’t get it.”
Despite J.K. Rowling’s earlier assertions that the Harry Potter series was likely over, the new play will take place 19 years after Harry last appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as a young man waving good-bye to his children on the Hogwarts Express. Though it is a sequel, it will also give insight to some of the hidden secrets in Harry’s parents’ past.
Houdroge says she is interested to know what happens to Harry Potter, but she does not see herself fulfilling this curiosity since she will not visit London to see the play and does not read the books. “I have only watched the movies. Why would I waste my time reading the books?” she said.
Zach Light, a sophomore at SHS, said the play format of the next Harry Potter story “might deter a few people” from reading it. However he says it will simultaneously attract a new audience who enjoy this kind of media and are interested in both theatre and Harry Potter.
“I do plan on reading this one,” he said.
Freshman Netanya Zucker says she also plans on reading it, because it seems a nice addition even though she thinks the series is already “pretty complete.”
John Tiffany will direct the play. English Actor Jamie Parker will star as Harry, while Actress Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley will play Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
Junior Gautam Goel said he believes Harry’s life will be more tranquil than it was during his turbulent youth, because “there won’t be as much threatening him.”
“He might have some marital problems or maybe a mid-life crisis,” added Goel.
According to Senior Samantha Carol, the new story will likely prove less popular than Rowling’s previous works because it may focus more on Harry Potter’s kids than what fans really care about – “Harry Potter and his battles.”
But she said she approves of the story’s format as a play, because “people might get a better visual with dialogue and stage directions,” she said.
Light says Rowling surely released the new story in the hopes to make money, but he does not consider it just a “shameless attempt at cashing in” like some critics do. “I think they did it more tactfully than just making a tasteless remake,” he said.