One of the things I love about Harry Potter is that he's a Gen Xer. Sure, his movies were vital to the Millennials, but JK Rowling's character is a generation ahead of them, and today he's a 35 year old dude who is looking at mid-life looming in front of him. And that's part of the plot of the new two-part play that Rowling has co-written, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. For a while we thought this play was going to be about young Harry, but it turns out it's about his son, Albus Severus.
The official synopsis:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
There's a lot to process here. Harry Potter as a civil servant! That's enough to give you the vapors. But what's really interesting is that Rowling has opted to focus on Harry's second son, Albus Severus, who is named after two troubled men (one of whom killed the other), and not James Sirius Potter or Lily Luna Potter, named after more clearly heroic characters. I think that's interesting, and I kind of hope young Albus wants to know just why his dad named him after Snape, who probably doesn't have a good reputation even though it turned out he was a good guy.
What from Harry's past is haunting him? I imagine this is where the prequel talk came from - Albus' story will interweave with an early Harry Potter experience, Godfather Part II style.
The play opens in London's West End in Summer 2016, but tickets go on sale next week. If you want to get a ticket you must first pre-register here, and then you'll have a chance to join the scrum when tix go on sale. I'm curious if the play, which Rowling calls the official eighth Harry Potter story, will travel and how long it will run on the West End. Some fans are upset that the play isn't easily available to all, but screw that whining - I love this. I'm actually thinking about what it would cost me to take a trip to London just to see this play.
And I look forward to ten years from now when Daniel Radcliffe is old enough to play middle-aged Harry and the play gets adapted and it's a smart drama and it's the first Harry Potter movie nominated for Best Picture. I believe in it.