Monday, October 31, 2016
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - based on a story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
I spent the weekend before Halloween reading the eighth book in the Harry Potter series - a script rather than a novel. Harry and his friends (and enemies, and frenemies) return as adults with jobs, children, and presumably mortgages, and all the other impedimenta (pun intended!) of grown up life.
The story begins where the epilogue of book seven left off - at Platform 9 3/4 with Harry and Ginny's son Albus Severus heading to Hogwarts for the first time. Albus develops a unlikely friendship with Scorpius Malfoy, son of Draco, and it is quickly made clear that it's the Potter kid who is the bad influence in this duo.
There is a lot here to entertain Potter fans. I enjoyed the work, and there were plenty of allusions to the rest of the series including fun with the invisibility cloak, the Marauder's Map, and Time Turners.
Libraries and books are key in this work. Hermione (now the Minister for Magic) not surprisingly has a large library in her office, and as Scorpius points out "There are some serious books here. Banned books. Cursed Books" including some that are "not even allowed in Hogwarts!" even in the Restricted Section.
So what we see is that Hermione, who in book five so enthusiastically points out that "if [Professor Umbridge] could have done one thing to make absolutely sure that every single person in this school will read your interview, it was banning it!", now is a practitioner of censorship herself. It appears that like many book banners she believes that she can handle the information found in the threatening works, but must protect from others from the dangers within. This is not the only place in the story where we see the government hiding information from its people. So scary, really.
There are two scenes in the story that take place in the Hogwarts library. The librarian's role is most disappointing. The unnamed librarian has exactly one line.
All together now, let's hear it...