When the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was announced in June, author J.K. Rowling assured fans of the boy wizard that the London production was “not a prequel” to the popular series. However, despite Rowling’s insistence, fans continued to believe that the stage show was a prequel. On Friday, Rowling took to Twitter to clarify the actual time frame of Cursed Child: Nineteen years after the story ends in the series’ final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Rowling’s Pottermore site also provided a detailed plot description for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: “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.”
London’s Palace Theater, where Cursed Child will be staged, initially stated in June that the show’s plot would “explore the backstory leading up to Harry’s parents’ untimely death at the hands of Lord Voldemort,” causing fans to speculate whether the play was actually a prequel. In addition to the play’s official plot, producers announced that tickets for June 2016 preview performances for the West End show will go on sale October 28th.
Rowling also previously revealed that, due to the “epic nature” of the production, the play would take place in two parts, with the audience choosing whether to view the entire spectacle in one sitting or break it up over the course of two viewings. “Part One will only be half the story, so the experience would be incomplete without seeing how the story ends. Likewise, if you only see Part Two you may find it hard to follow the story,” the Cursed Child site warns. “We recommend that you see Part One first, as it would be difficult to understand Part Two without seeing Part One. It would be like beginning one of the books in the middle!”
In June, when Rowling was asked why she opted to continue the Harry Potter saga on the stage instead of the page, she wrote, “I am confident that when audiences see the play, they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story. I’ve had countless offers to extend Harry’s story over the years, but Jack, John and [producer] Sonia Friedman are a dream team! It has been a huge pleasure to share with them (and soon, with you!) this untold part of Harry’s story.”