This Week In Culture: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child (31/07/16)

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“I did my waiting… (nine) years of it… in Azkaban!” – Sirius Black (feat. James Barker)

Well Sirius, the wait is over. After nine years of movie adaptations and the occasional Pottermore fun fact, more original content from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is here. The eighth story of Harry Potter’s journey is released in book form today, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s ‘Special Rehearsal Edition‘ coming to bookstores worldwide. It’s also J.K.’s 51st birthday, and Harry’s 35th. However, primarily, The Cursed Child is a play, which starts its proper run at the Palace Theatre in London imminently. Two parts of culture that rarely merge, Literature and Theatre, in one go!

A brand new trio... [Image via Palace Theatre]

A brand new trio… [Image via Palace Theatre]

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows Harry 19 years after we left him in The Deathly Hallows, now working as an important Ministry of Magic employee. However, life is never easy when you’re Harry Potter; though Voldemort is (seemingly) gone for good, Harry and his family, most notably his son Albus, struggle with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs. This somewhat mysterious description is pretty much all we know about the play/sort of book, which is currently previewing ahead of its proper run. It’s staying at the Palace Theatre for the foreseeable future though, and tickets start reasonably cheap for theatre at just £30 for both parts of the play. But if you can’t wait to see the play, you can buy the script this Sunday 31st July.

Though this week’s (arguably) most exciting release comes in July, from this Monday, we enter the month of August. The dry spell of television is finally coming to an end, as we have all of America’s fall schedule to look forward to in just a short 31 day period. Some of the fantastic shows coming this year from over the pond include Once Upon A Time‘s sixth season, Gotham‘s third season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s fourth season, and yet another series of Supernatural. What is that now, twelve? The question is: when will our favourite American shows cross the pond to our TV screens? Hopefully as soon as possible…

Image via youtube

Image via youtube

Also as it’s August, we are being gifted with a new console to play all our favourite games on. The Xbox One S is a souped-up new and improved version of Microsoft’s Xbox One, packing in more power but less bulk. The S is 40% slimmer than the original, has a pretty white case, and a new ‘porous’ design’ (the exterior is now dotty and holey, if that is any kind of selling point). It drops the bulky power pack so it’ll be easier to lug home from the shops. For the 500GB model, pricing starts at £249, but it does mean that the price of the Xbox One is dropping to around £190! Gee, it’s a good time to be a gamer! The Xbox One S is available from Tuesday 2nd July.

In more local theatre, this week sees The Pirates of Penzance come to the Mayflower Theatre! Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic is being given a Broadway twist by Mayflower Productions’ Summer Youth Project, as the young actors and actresses set sail on a “high spirited adventure” on the seven seas. The show is with Mayflower for four very special performances from Friday 5th August to Sunday 9th, with tickets still available at a very reasonable price from the Mayflower Box Office.

See Paul Thornley, who is playing Ron Weasley, talk about The Cursed Child, and its potential to have a positive impact on its audience, below. No spoilers, I promise!

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Culture Editor of the Edge. Sporadic writer for the Wessex Scene and the National Student. Bad habits include losing myself in Netflix, not doing my work and drinking too much tea.

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