With the preview performances of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child just around the corner, Pottermore is unveiling first looks at each of its cast members over the next few days. The series kicked off this morning with a family portrait of Harry, Ginny, and their son Albus Severus, one that represents the first official look at Harry as an adult. (And yes, I know Daniel Radcliffe was digitally aged for the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 — that doesn't count! He was still obviously a teenager!) Harry's decked out in a suit befitting his employment at the Ministry of Magic, a look that's giving off some Sean Penn vibes for me; Ginny looks like the movies' Mrs. Weasley with an updated haircut; Albus Severus is wearing hand-me-down robes that keep his house assignment a secret for now. (Individual portraits are included below.)
Even if you think Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an unnecessary return to the well for Rowling, there's something compelling about seeing her (and co-creators Jack Thorne and John Tiffany) realize a new phase in the characters' lives. I'm thinking about this in terms of "vibes," a quality that's admittedly hard to define: does Jamie Parker feel like Harry Potter? What does it mean to "feel like Harry Potter?" You need a certain sadness, a quiet fatigue. These are just pictures, but I feel like Parker has it.
Ominous fusion! Unexpected darkness!
The plot of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is still largely a mystery. "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," reads the play's description. "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." Ominous fusion! Unexpected darkness! The two-part play's preview performances start on June 7th, and it opens officially in July. The script will be available for purchase by those of us who can't make the trip to London to see it for ourselves.