Oh my gosh, you guys, I am so excited about this! I’ve been wanting to read this play ever since it came out in book form. There’s no way that I would be able to get to London to see it in person, so this is the best that I have.
Here’s what I know about the production:
- There was some sort of controversy because they cast a Black actress as Hermione.
Here’s what I know about the story:
- It has something to do with the kids of the original kids from the books.
That’s really all I know. I have been strangely unspoiled for this story. I know next to nothing about it. Which is exciting! I know it won’t match the feeling of getting the original books back in the day, but it’s still pretty cool.
Also, just briefly, because I feel obligated to do so: SPOILER WARNING! I will be going in depth about what happens in the play, but also discussing how they relate to the books. The last Harry Potter book was published 10 years ago, so if you’re spoiled by my reviews, well, you should have read them before now. So there.
I can already tell that this is going to be a very different experience, just because of the format. I’m used to reading scripts, both from being in community theater productions and from studying Shakespeare and other playwrights in college, but having those scripts being part of a Harry Potter story . . . it’s a bit odd, I won’t lie. It means that I had to plan out how to do this, since I can’t rely on doing a chapter at a time – there are no chapters! So let’s jump in.
Scene 1 – King’s Cross
The first scene is only two pages long, so it’s a good thing I’m not doing a review for each scene. That would take forever! Still, this scene is sweet. It takes place just before the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We see Harry Potter, his wife Ginny (Weasley, of course), and their kids: James (the oldest), Albus (age 11, headed for his first year at Hogwarts), and Lilly (the youngest, riding on Harry’s shoulders). I’m not sure how old the other two kids are. It doesn’t say, although it does mention that Harry is 37 at this point.
The two brothers are behaving just how brothers do. James is ribbing Albus about the possibility of getting sorted into Slytherin (I’m assuming at this point that James is another Potter Gryffindor). They are at Kings Cross station, heading to the brick wall that will lead them to Platform 9 3/4.
There’s a cute moment where Albus asks his parents to write to him, but not TOO much because according to James (who naturally knows everything), he should only expect letters from home once a month.
HARRY: We wrote to your brother three times a week last year.
ALBUS: What? James!
Hee hee! So it sounds like maybe James is only one year ahead of Albus in school? Maybe had first year jitters of his own?
I had to admit, this last bit of the scene made me smile. Heading into the platform, Harry gives Albus this bit of advice.
HARRY: Best to do it at a run if you’re nervous.
That’s the same advice Mrs. Weasley gave him all those years ago! All the feels!
Scene 2 – Platform Nine and Three Quarters
They make it to the Platform, and all the children are suitably impressed. They also meet up with more familiar faces: Ron, Hermione and their daughter, Rose.
LILLY: Uncle Ron! Uncle Ron!
RON turns towards them as LILLY goes barreling up to him. He picks her up into his arms.
RON: If it isn’t my favorite Potter.
This is so cute! I have a feeling that Ron is a very good dad and uncle, in a silly bad-dad-joke sort of way.
There’s also this:
HARRY: Parked all right, then?
RON: I did. Hermione didn’t believe I could pass a Muggle driving test, did you? She thought I’d have to Confund the examiner.
HERMIONE: I thought nothing of the kind, I have complete faith in you.
ROSE: And I have complete faith he did Confund the examiner.
Seems like Rose inherited some sass! I love it!
This scene is interesting because a lot of the dialogue is from the epilogue of Deathly Hallows, pretty much word for word. There’s more added to it, fleshing the scene out even more. For example, we see more of Albus’s fear that he will be sorted into Slytherin, but we also see Harry reassure him that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Harry tells him, just like in Deathly Hallows that he was named after a Slytherin, who was one of the bravest men that he had ever known, but that also, the Sorting Hat will take your feelings into account.
Remembering back to The Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry was also terrified about being sorted into Slytherin and begged the Hat to put him anywhere else. I’ve often wondered, knowing what we know now, what would have happened if Harry had been sorted into Slytherin. Would he have ended up friends with Draco Malfoy? I can’t imagine that Harry would have participated in the bullying that seemed prevalent with that group, especially since he was bullied so much by his cousin. I just wonder how his relationship with Dumbledore would have been different, not to mention his relationship with Snape. Imagine if he had to have Snape as his Head of House! Would that have made Snape go a bit easier on him? Probably not, given Snape’s history, but you never know. Maybe Snape would have actually given Harry more of a chance. I’ve often wondered how different things would have been if Snape could have moved past his bitterness towards Harry’s father (which, of course, Harry had no control over) and actually been more of a mentor to Harry.
I’m sure there are fanfictions a plenty that speculate on this in greater detail. I’ve learned that when it comes to Harry Potter, there is a fanfiction about everything. Every. Thing. It’s a bit scary.
As the kids board the train to leave, Harry thinks for a moment that it’s odd that Albus is so scared about being sorted into Slytherin. Then there’s this moment.
RON: You know, Gin, we always thought there was a chance you could be sorted into Slytherin.
RON: Honestly, Fred and George ran a book.
My first reaction is laughter because this is really funny and totally something the twins would do. My second reaction is absolute devastation because FRED!!!! Pardon me while I go cry in the corner for a while. Seriously, worst death of the series. Worse than Dumbledore for me.
They get ready to leave, because people are looking – these are famous war heroes, after all.
GINNY: Harry . . . He’ll be all right, won’t he?
HARRY: Of course he will.
This makes me wonder why they are so concerned about Albus. Were they this worried about James when he left for Hogwarts the first time? I’m sure each kid is different, but maybe James was just more confident in a rough-and-tumble way. Maybe Albus is just the more quiet and sensitive of the two, which would make them worry more.
Scene 3 – The Hogwarts Express
We get to know Albus and Rose a bit more in this scene and, to be honest, I’m not sure I like Rose all that much. I want to like her. She’s Ron and Hermione’s daughter. I love Ron and Hermione is my spirit sister, so I should like their kid, right?
We see in the previous seen that Rose is a bit ambitious (no idea where she got that from *cough*Hermione*cough*). She wants to score well in school and be a star on the Quidditch team.
But then there’s this:
ROSE: Al. We need to concentrate.
ALBUS: Concentrate on what?
ROSE: On who we choose to be friends with. My mum and dad met your dad on their first Hogwarts Express, you know . . .
ALBUS: So we need to choose now who to be friends with for life? That’s quite scary.
ROSE: On the contrary, it’s exciting. I’m a Granger-Weasley, you’re a Potter – everyone will want to be friends with us, we’ve got the pick of anyone we want.
Oh, Rose, Rose, Rose. I love how she assumes that because their parents all met on the train that that’s where they became friends. So not the case, sweetie. Your mum and dad may have met on the train, but they HATED each other. She has so much confidence and is just so smug about it. She knows everyone will want to be their friends because of their status and who their parents are. That sure doesn’t sound like Ron and Hermione. That sounds more like another peer of theirs back in the day . . .
Rose decides that they should check out all the compartments, rate all the occupants on whether or not they would be suitable friends, and then decide where to sit. Okay, I’m just calling it – Rose gets sorted into Slytherin. The ambition on this girl is astronomical!
The first compartment the open only has one occupant – a young kid who introduces himself as Scorpious. Albus doesn’t know who he is, but Rose recognizes him immediately. Scorpious seems like a nice kid, who offers them some of his candy stash because he mum told him that sharing candy would help him make friends. Aw! I feel bad for this kid already! Albus immediately takes him up on the offer, and immediately Rose starts hitting him to try and get him to leave with her. Unfortunately, her ambition does not come with any sort of stealth, because Scorpious notices immediately.
SCORPIOUS: She’s hitting you because of me.
Naturally, Albus doesn’t know what he’s talking about, because it’s crazy. Scorpious reveals that he knows exactly who Albus and Rose are and who their families are. He also reveals that he is the son of Astoria and Draco Malfoy.
Rose, being Rose, doesn’t want to talk about anything, but Scorpious is quick to say that “the rumor” is not true.
SCORPIOUS: The rumor is that my parents couldn’t have children. That my father and my grandfather were so desperate for a powerful heir, to prevent the end of the Malfoy line, that they . . . that they used a Time-Turner to send my mother back . . .
ALBUS: To send her back where?
ROSE: The rumor is that he’s Voldemort’s son, Albus.
A horrible, uncomfortable silence.
It’s probably rubbish. I mean . . . look, you’ve got a nose.
That last part made me laugh out loud, but seriously, this poor kid! Imagine starting school with that hanging over you! It’s terrible! I know that the pure bloods were very concerned with their family lines and, let’s face it, that does sound like something that Lucius might have considered if he found out Draco couldn’t produce an heir. I can’t imagine that Draco would go that far though. By the end of Deathly Hallows, Draco seemed pretty disillusioned with the whole Death Eater thing. Not to mention that he would have to live with the fact that he sent his wife back in time to . . . you know . . . EEWWWWW!!!!
Rose says that they should probably sit somewhere else, but Albus doesn’t want to go. She storms off in a bit of a huff, leaving Albus and Scorpious to share their sweets and start to become friends. It was cute. Reminiscent of Harry and Ron meeting on the train their first year, although some very clear differences, of course.
All right, for an opening, it’s definitely got my attention. And I have to admit, it feels good to be riding on the Hogwarts Express again! I’m going to try to update these every Friday, so check back next week to see the next bit! If you’ve read this, let me know what you thought of the first scenes!