Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the play that will continue the Harry Potter series, comes out on August 31. I’m excited because new Harry Potter hasn’t existed in five years! More than that, I’m excited because I love theater. Unfortunately, there’s no trip to London to see the play in my future. Like most fans around the world, I will be reading the play.
Hopefully, Cursed Child will help people get interested in theater. Reading plays can often be a completely different challenge from reading novels, so I’ve compiled a list of plays to help HP fans ease their way into this different literary form. The plays vary in genre and time period, but all are tied back to Harry Potter in one way or another.
1. The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh
The Pillowman is a dark play set in a future dystopia rather like V for Vendetta. The story centers around a man named Katurian Katurian (Originally played by David Tennant) who was arrested for crimes committed based on stories he wrote.
The play delves into the impact of storytelling, and the point of fairy tales. If the Grimm brothers were alive and writing plays, this would be the sort of story they’d craft.
2. Equus by Peter Shaffer
While The Pillowman is a warped reality, Equus is our world, with a unique cast of characters. It makes the list because not one but two HP stars, Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths recently did Equus on Broadway.
Equus is the story of a young man attending therapy. As the story progresses, the audience comes to learn what brought him in, and it’s twisted. Or is it? Equus takes a look at society and the way our society perceives religion and worship, and how that impacts individuals.
3. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Importance of Being Earnest is a frivolous, romantic, Victorian play. The basic plot is that men lie about their identities to woo wealthy women and get caught. It’s hilarious and has lots of word play.
Earnest makes the list because of the film version Maggie Smith portrayed Lady Bracknel in. Definitely read the play and then watch the movie. The film takes quite a few creative liberties.
4. Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, it’s probably also true that you’re a fan of Peter Pan. This play, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, is the origin story of Peter Pan. It’s got magic, whimsy, pirates, and a really deep intellectual message.
5. She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen
This play has never been on Broadway. It is not widely known. If you’re reading this article, you’re the target audience. She Kills Monsters is about a woman whose sister has recently died. She decides to play through her sister’s Dungeons and Dragons campaign to really get to know the person her sister was.
It’s a very cool play, where the actors layer character on top of D&D character. It’s super nerd-friendly and funny.
Whether you are reading these to get pumped for Cursed Child, or have read it and since decided you want to check out plays, I hope you check out these. All are wonderful and full of deep thought-provoking ideas.