‘Harry Potter’ leaves books and film, flies onto stage

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“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” officially opens July 30, 2016. (Erin Meeks)

Harry Potter fans around the world dried their tears and jumped for joy when author J.K. Rowling announced a new addition to her series back in February. The catch is that the addition is not a book, but a play broken into two parts. The author is releasing the script in a book form on July 31 for those who cannot see the play.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” opens officially on July 30 in London, but some fans were lucky enough to get tickets to the preview, which premiered June 7. One of those fans is BYU advertising student Alexis Kaegi.

Kaegi is currently in London with the film studies study abroad and snagged tickets to both parts of the show. After seeing part one in June, she took to Facebook to tell her friends how much she loved the show.

“The production blew me away,” Kaegi said in a Facebook post. “‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is jam packed with small, magical surprises I haven’t seen anywhere else.”

BYU advertising student Alexis Kaegi poses with wand in hand in front of the London theater days before she saw a preview of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” (Alexis Kaegi)

The story follows Harry, now a husband, father and employee of the Ministry of Magic. As he deals with his past, his youngest son, Albus, deals with the reputation of being a Potter.

The play’s website states that “as past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

The play also includes all the classic characters like Ron, Hermione, Draco and all of their children. Because the play is looking at the characters readers already know and love, some fans have been skeptical. BYU graduate Amber Haslam, who is also a member of the Provo Quidditch team, was not one of those fans.

“No one knows the characters better than Jo (Rowling), so with her writing, there wasn’t too much to worry about,” Haslam said. “I was more excited that I would be able to learn more about the characters’ lives and for the chance to return to their world.”

Haslam has yet to see to the play or read the book, but Kaegi said she was a bit skeptical to begin with. Kaegi ended up loving both the old and new characters by the end of part two.

“Our beloved, familiar characters were amazingly cast and accurately portrayed,” Kaegi said in her Facebook post. “The new characters are wonderfully ideated and the two boys, Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter, are incredibly charming and sweet and believable.”

The play is only showing in London, but the script gives worldwide fans an opportunity to read the story. However, Kaegi warned readers to remember it’s written as a play and not a novel.

“‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is currently being marketed as the Eighth Story, and I don’t think that could be any farther from the truth,” Kaegi said. “The thing about Cursed Child is that it’s a play, and any reader of the script would do well to keep that in mind for the duration of their reading.”

Kaegi still loved the performance and is happy to see Harry Potter living on in the theater.

“Overall, I do believe this story is magical,” Kaegi said. “It’s wonderful to be back, especially on stage.”

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