Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is deeply polarizing amongst Harry Potter fans. After plenty of viewings of this juggernaut of a production, with two full re-readings of the original series since it opened, I can safely say that it’s established its own integrity within the series. Though for those who know me, was that EVER in question? (Easy question, easy answer. No.) (Did you catch the show reference?)
Cursed Child is not without its flaws. Regardless of what you think of Severus Snape, he would never be cuddly and cutesy the way he is onstage in any dimension. Ron is not a hybrid of his twin brothers. Though people do evolve and develop, Draco Malfoy sure got comfortable talking about his deepest feelings very quickly. Delphi’s rise and fall are very abrupt, and she doesn’t make a particularly cunning villain. The nostalgia and familiarity ploys are entirely unabashed.
The direct grab for the heart that this show makes, however, prevails. The exploration of life after prolonged trauma and loss, and how it impacts the people you bring into the world offers the audience a sobering view of the boy (and now man) that they grew up wanting to be. The exhibition of a symbiotic relationship between two teenage boys who come together and form a bond built upon their mutual sadness and loneliness, and who are unflinching in their love and need for one another feels exotic in the most welcome of ways in a world that places so much value on boys stifling their feelings.
Cursed Child also traverses through familial dysfunction, intent versus interpretation, the breaking of toxic habits passed through generations, taking a step back to listen (a lesson that hits Harry hard), and what it means to love someone specifically.
All of the aforementioned of course does not begin to expound upon the enthralling world that has been created at the Lyric Theatre, the world in which you are submerged immediately upon entry. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a production crafted and executed for a 21st Century audience, one in which the viewer truly does lose track of the happenings in the world around them.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child wins.