I never dove full in to active Harry Potter fandom. I went to midnight premieres, but never a release party (this is because I usually had dress rehearsal during the release parties, not because I didn’t want to) but I mostly stayed away from internet fandom until most of the fervor died down because it terrified me.
I have learned that this was probably the best choice I could make. But in the time since, what with embracing internet fandom for other things, I couldn’t help but stumble onto the remains of the HP fanfiction community, and thus I was aware of some of the common tropes of HP fanfiction, particularly when it came to “the second generation.”
One of the many fun things about Harry Potter And The Cursed Child was that it managed to fall into some of those tropes, which just proves that often times story telling leads you down unavoidable paths.
Delphi “Diggory” being the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange is the kind of thing that fandom has been talking about for years. Scorpius Malfoy (the greatest character that JK Rowling has ever created, with the possible exception of Minerva McGonnagal) becoming friends with Albus Potter (BOOO) and having a thing for Rose Granger Weasley is also pretty common. And of course, Draco Malfoy is actually good guy at heart, oh that’s all over fanfiction. (They managed to stay away from Draco/Hermione, thank God, even in the alternate timelines)
So that was fun to see. But how was it as a piece of work on it’s own?
It’s a good play. The stage directions are clear but vague enough to interpret, the dialog is clear and clean. The characters are well drawn, the plot is fun. Overall, it was a fun trip back to The Wizarding World. I love Scorpius Malfoy to an unhealthy degree. (This is a Percy Jackson style love, not a Poe Dameron, fear not!) I think Albus is a good character, if a terrifically unlikable one, as Harry was from time to time. Also, the fact that Harry grew up to be a shitty parent is kind of perfect. And that Ginny calls him out on it.
I liked the plot, because I love time travel and it’s reprecussions. That’s why Back To The Future Part II is my favorite of that series. It’s why Flashpoint is in my top 5 comics. It’s why I can stand to watch The Butterfly Effect multiple times. I also like the idea that the death of Cedric Diggory and The Tri Wizard Tournament are the events upon which Voldemort’s return and eventual final fall depend, because The Goblet Of Fire is my favorite book in the series. It’s also the best movie. (Fight me Prisoner of Azkaban people! It’s both a watchable movie and a passable adaptation of the book!) I’m hoping to see The Cursed Child when it comes to New York, but then again, it’s arrival will make Hamilton tickets easier to get…(maybe…)
Either way, I was into the play, always happy to be back, and if nothing else, I’m rereading the series now!