Draco Malfoy thinks Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling’s onstage eighth installment of the Wizarding World, isn’t about magic. Instead, it’s about family.
According to Alex Price — the actor who plays the adult Draco Malfoy in Cursed Child— the play isn’t “escapism” but instead “really important theater.” In a video released yesterday, Price highlighted the ways in which this iteration of the Potter-universe functions on the stage saying “At the heart of any drama, is story and conflict…and the heart of [Cursed Child] is relationships, predominantly between fathers and sons.”
Price is probably on to something, because if the Harry Potter universe was limited to only being an escapist hodgepodge of over-the-top fantasy magic, there’s no way the books, the films, and now, the stage play and the book version of the script, could have endured as a ridiculously popular global phenomenon. Notably, fans and critics remain divided about the quality of Cursed Child all with wildly different criteria for what constitutes “good.”
For those fans who feel Cursed Child failed as a satisfying continuation of the Harry Potter saga, then Alex Price is perhaps asking you take a different approach. As a story about fathers and sons, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is totally successful in its rendering of Draco’s complete love for his son, Scorpius. But it’s no kitchen sink drama either. Though Price is right about Cursed Child not only being about magic, the magic is still paramount. The tricky movement of Harry Potter from its previous media (books and films) to the medium of theater remains tricky. And for audiences who have only read the play in book format, we’re probably missing out on some nuances for all the actors, and perhaps, Alex Price’s take on the angsty, but basically heroic Draco Malfoy in particular. Because even without casting the Imperius curse, the actor has given us something to think about.