Theatre: Dear J.K. Rowling…

Dear J.K. Rowling,

Like millions of others of my generation and beyond, Harry Potter was a crucial part of my childhood, and continues to be an important aspect in my adult life. So, as the fans gear up for The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, I found myself asking if I still needed Harry Potter.

When first reading the books as a child, the world of Harry, Hermione and Ron was an exciting new adventure, a world that became almost frighteningly real. I had a stick for a wand, and pieces of newspaper stained with used tea bags as my Daily Prophet and a shoe box for a trunk, and I was off to Hogwarts. Then, as I got older the books became an escape from the real world problems I was facing for the first time. Unhappiness, worry, and loss; all things the wizarding world experienced too, and I turned once again to Harry Potter for comfort. Then upon reaching adulthood, Harry Potter has become a source of nostalgia, and is like a best friend I reach for every now and again, and it’s as though we were never apart.

With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this world is expanding once more, and with trepidation and excitement I have booked tickets to see the play during its first month in London. Can this new work, in an entirely new medium, be as affecting as the tales which have come before? The stories which are quoted in assemblies, yearbooks, tv shows, and whose language has entered the vernacular. Can anything live up to something which became so impossibly influential?

A play offers us the wizarding world in a new context, physically in front of us. Our first experiences of these stories won’t be through a page, a screen or hearing Stephen Fry’s voice read it gently to us as we fall asleep, we will be there, almost face to face with these characters. Mere feet from us, an entirely new chapter in the life and tale of Harry Potter will be told and that is the most exciting prospect of all. As a fan I know that a 2 hour show detailing exactly where wizards buy their toothbrushes, or the exchange rate between Muggle and wizarding money would satisfy me as I crave to know more about the world you have created. However, for the sake of all the new people whose first experience of Harry Potter could be through The Cursed Child, I hope it is as thrilling, engaging and magical as everything that has come before.

So, thank you J.K. Rowling. Thank you for creating a second home for millions of people. Thank you for telling a story which teaches us, touches us and tears us apart. I can barely wait for June 2016 when the characters of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be stood in front of me, telling a new story.



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