Broadway’s “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” sheds light on some hazy back stories of the wizarding world’s original players, including the easy-to-despise Draco Malfoy.
“‘Cursed Child’ is a redemption for this character and that’s so joyous to play because I feel that’s what people want,” says Alex Price, who first stepped into the shoes of a Slytherin when the production made its London debut two years ago.
Picking up two decades after the epic Battle of Hogwarts, school-aged enemies Harry (Jamie Parker) and Draco (Alex Price) are occupied by the trials and tribulations of fatherhood. Their sons, Albus and Scorpius, have made way to Platform 9 ¾.
Much to the surprise of Potterheads who haven’t read J.K. Rowling’s story of the same title, the boys bond over mutually strained relationships with their fathers and take a Hermione-style trip back in time.
Adapted by Jack Thorne, the script gives fans the chance to explore a new — more likable — side of Draco and dabble in parts of his past that went unexplained through the seven primary novels, Price, 33, teases.
“The joy of this Draco is that you get to understand why he was like what he’s like in the books,” he says. Noting that his character is known as a “spoiled little brat,” parts one and two of the stage production delve into a young Draco’s thought process during the heartbreaking moment he’s ordered to kill Dumbledore, among others.
“You see a bit of that struggle in him, but it’s never truly explored as to what’s going on inside,” Price says, nodding to the movies. “He’s definitely wiser now.”
Aside from the plot points the illegal Time-Turner (like the one Hermione used to sucker punch Draco in “Prisoner of Azkaban” film) provide, the production sees the core team of Hogwarts alumni — Harry, Draco, Hermione (Noma Dumezweni), Ron (Paul Thornley) and Ginny (Poppy Miller) — work together in a heroic way fans previously hadn’t seen.
That’s not to say cringeworthy elements of Draco’s teenage years — like his pledge to the Death Eaters — are forgiven, or forgotten.
“There’s still a little bit of the swagger about him. I wanted to keep that,” Price explains. “It’s part of who he is. Doing the play in London, I could tell people enjoyed when me and Harry were having a bit of a dig at each other.”
New Yorkers are enjoying it, too. The production, which opened at The Lyric Theatre April 22, is already looking at several sold-out shows through the end of the year — with the exception of seats priced $299 plus and the $40 lottery. Tickets are nearing $6,000 on some resale sites.
“I thought it couldn’t get more mad than the first show in London, and then we had and I was like, ‘OK, yeah, this is another level.’ It’s incredible,” Price says.