New Harry Potter instalment sets the stage on fire

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Nine years after the last book in the coveted Harry Potter series was released, Potter-maniacs have something new to obsess about. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a two-part and five-hour-long stage play, opened at Palace Theatre London on July 30. A hard-cover version of the script was released worldwide that very midnight. Book stores saw twenty-something fans, dressed up in wizard hats and cloaks, sporting the legendary lightning scar on their foreheads, excitedly queue up to get their hands on the newest copy.

The original story written by J.K. Rowling, along with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, looks into the life of Harry and his family 19 years after Deathly Hallows and the end of the Dark War.

In the eighth instalment, Harry is 37 and works at the Ministry of Magic. He seems to lead the life that he has always wanted to, of a normal father and employee. He and his wife Ginny send off their second child, Albus, to Hogwarts, unsuspectingly setting off a series of events that could change their lives.

Carrying the name of his father and his high-performing elder brother James on his shoulders, Albus struggles to find a place for himself. His friendship with Scorpius, son of Draco Malfoy, and his hatred for all the expectations everyone places on him, eventually lead him to a place he should not have gone to. Harry and his son team up to save the day, fighting dark forces and overcoming their own differences. Ron, Hermione, their daughter Rose, Malfoy also shape up the story.

Rowling's wittiness and mastery over storytelling make a much awaited come back. According to fans and reviewers, the story has elements that go beyond magic and wizardry to include time travel. It explores concepts of parenting through the eyes of Harry, and of accepting oneself, flaws included. On stage, the spectacle lived up to the expectations of fans.

At the end of the opening night of the Cursed Child, Rowling said that this might be the end of Harry's generation of stories. “He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we are done. This is the next generation, you know,” she said, “So, I'm thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

The new book and play could keep Potterheads occupied for a while, until the November film release of Rowling's spinoff book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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