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Let’s talk about Cursed Child in script vs production. Now obviously the production adds a vast amount of detail & light and shade to the script that can’t exist in the script alone. That’s theatre. But there are a few elements of that and a few outright changes that I want to document for people.

NB: I’ve seen Cursed Child four times in the last seven months, and have seen more than one actor for several key roles including Albus, Scorpius, and Harry. That said my memory is not perfect!

#1 and #2 are the actual script changes, fyi. Everything else is about implication.


#1. Script:

MYRTLE: Such a shame the pretty one had to die. Not that your father is not pretty - but Cedric Diggory - you’d be amazed at how many girls I had to hear doing love incantations in this very bathroom…

As performed, she says “girls and boys”. Weaksauce but hey, it’s actual explicit acknowledgement of queer desire in the Potterverse.

#2. Script (when the boys and the Trio Plus are reunited in 1989):

SCORPIUS trots up to his dad.

DRACO: We can hug too if you like…

SCORPIUS looks at his dad, unsure for a moment. And then they sort of half-hug in a very awkward way. DRACO smiles.


Yeah this is totally different. Scorpius doesn’t trot, he runs - and then comes to a sudden awkward halt because ??????? hugging ????? And Draco sounds a little abashed as he says the line - and then Scorpius launches himself forward and Draco clings. It’s not awkward and it’s certainly no half-hug; when I saw it in January Draco actually lifted Scorpius off his feet for several seconds. And even when this massive hug is over Draco keeps touching Scorpius’ shoulder or his arm - you really feel how much he needs the physical reassurance that he’s found Scorpius and they’re together again.

#3. On that note, the Al/Scorpius hugs are very similar. One half is like CLING, GRAB, POSSIBLY LIFT OFF FEET while the other half goes hilariously stiff as a board. It’s super cute as well as very funny.

#4. Script:

VOLDEMORT: I smell guilt, there is a stench of guilt upon the air.



HARRY: He said - Voldemort said - ‘I smell guilt, there is a stench of guilt upon the air.’ He was talking to me.


In the production, this all happens, but Voldemort is looking at Petunia when he says the line. It all hangs together: Harry feels guilty about his parenting so he thinks it’s about him, but that doesn’t stop it from also being about Petunia. Particularly given the emphasis on Petunia’s conflict and guilt over how she treats Harry and remembers Lily, and how Harry explicitly talks about how the Dursleys affected his parenting. Ugh, angsty character parallels, you make my life. Particularly given Cursed Child remains great at something I really appreciate about the Potter books, which is character parallels, especially ones made explicit by characters, which only sort of work, or stop working entirely. Cos people are like that.

#5. Script:

SCORPIUS: You’re mostly focused on bringing up your kids.

RON: Great. I expect their mother is hot.

SCORPIUS (blushing): Well… um… depends what you think of… the thing is, you two, sort of have kids - together.


In the production, when Ron says, “I expect their mother is hot,” Scorpius starts nodding passionately. He is a STRONG AGREE on the hotness of Hermione. Then Hermione turns to look at him and he stops, all embarrassed, and delivers that line.

Btw, I fucking love the general agreement and enthusiasm about the hotness of Hermione. It’s there in the books too, especially HBP, but I find it so cute when it’s fourteen-year-olds crushing on the Minister for Magic.

#6. Script:

HERMIONE: We get this right, Harry’s alive, Voldemort’s dead and the Augurey is gone. For that no risk is too great. Though I am sorry what it will cost you.

SNAPE: Sometimes costs are made to be borne.

The two look at each other, SNAPE nods, HERMIONE nods back, SNAPE’s face crumbles slightly.

I didn’t just quote Dumbledore, did I?

HERMIONE (
with a smile): No, I’m pretty sure that’s pure Severus Snape.

In the production that is not just a nodding. Hermione comes over, she puts her hands on his shoulders, & they look at each other. There definitely seems to be an implication of something there - nothing definite, but well. Three of the four times I’ve seen it there was a definite reaction from the audience who were NOT comfortable with the Snape/Hermione of it all.

#7. Script:

SNAPE: You’re giving up your kingdom for Albus, right?

This is actually a line that doesn’t quite work for me. Or actually it totally does, but it takes a tiny bit of fanwanking. Because Snape’s an authority figure and source of knowledge, so I feel like we’re meant to take that declaration as true - particularly when you take into account Scorpius’ line, “I’m better off in this world but the world is not better.” And Snape’s comparison of it to him and Lily, and him giving “[his] allegiance to the cause she believed in”. That last scene paints a picture of a Scorpius who’s found himself a kingdom, who is lucky here in a way he’s not in his own world, and gives it up heroically because the world needs saving and he misses & loves Albus.

Now this one I think is rather more open to interpretation than these other points but I don’t think the performance backs that up at ALL. Scorpius never stops being terrified and sickened and freaked out. When he appears in dark clothes that could be him getting used to things and becoming part of this world a bit, but it’s not played that way; there’s no sense that Scorpius would be personally happier in this world than his own, even if he just forgot about Albus and everyone else and was selfish. His heroism in the play as performed doesn’t lie in choosing to give up his “kingdom”: it doesn’t feel like his kingdom to him, or like anything he’d want. His heroism is in being brave, and not backing down until he’s found the right allies and they’ve worked out how to save the world.

The line works for me: Snape thinks of Scorpius as the Scorpius King he’s known, so of course he thinks of it that way, especially given his personal history. (I reckon Snape thinks Scorpius is in love with Al.) But it’s not shown to be true.

#8. Script:

SNAPE readies himself.

SNAPE is pulled hard to the ground and then pushed high into the air as his soul is ripped from him.


In the production, he isn’t pulled to the ground - he stands there and is lifted. Which I wouldn’t comment on, as it’s likely down to tech issues, but in the performance it’s more than readying himself: he raises his arms, reaching for the Dementors as they start to drop, seeming to call down oblivion as it comes for him.

#9. Script:

SCORPIUS: Turns out Malfoy the Unanxious is a pretty good liar… No, (slightly grandly), it’s time that time-turning became a thing of the past.

ALBUS: You’re quite proud of that phrase, aren’t you?

SCORPIUS: Been working on it all day.


I feel like particularly cos it’s the end of the scene, this comes off in the script as kind of a cool line. Whereas in the performance it’s “been working on it all day!” <- note the exclamation mark. There’s a tiny, embarrassed pause and then an enthusiastic confession. Similarly, there’s a possibility of cool to the scripted line, “turns out Malfoy the Unanxious is a pretty good liar.” Except Scorpius has zero chill so he like, goes all squawky and and excited and teenage-boy’s-voice-breaking with pride. In other news, Scorpius Malfoy is my Patronus and I adore him.

Hope that was helpful! Or just interesting :)

(no subject)

Date: 2/18/17 06:00 am (UTC)
drinkingcocoa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drinkingcocoa
Hello! Doing a reread of Cursed Child rehearsal script. Ludo Bagman says "Mr. Dragon" at the Triwizard Tournament, even though the dragons in Goblet of Fire were all brooding mothers. Do you remember if he says "Mr. Dragon" in the play? I'm wondering if this was a Jack Thorne error or if this was intentional and meaningful.

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