I don’t think we really wanted to talk about this, but I feel like we probably need to. (Also: we’re still working on the next chapter of Philosopher’s Stone, I swear we’ll finish shredding that book eventually. Then there are only six more to go… FML.)
(Loten adds: my bad, guys. As I mentioned on my FFN profile, I’m tangled up in ‘real life’, in the process of buying a house, working a lot more, etc etc. It’s hard to find time to settle in for a few hours of book shredding. Once I’ve moved into the new place, sometime in the next few months, things should be easier and our posts should be a lot more regular. In the meantime, sorry!)
This is the most complete plot summary we’ve seen, if you need to catch up.
And for the record, we first learnt about this from this DTCL thread. So thanks for covering this and giving me a jumping off point.
It seems like Rowling is trying to insist on keeping the plot secret, and a lot of people have been humouring her, so for a while it was hard to discern the truth amidst the rumours. Truthfully, we had a hard time believing a lot of what was being said also; a lot of the rumoured plot points sound like bad attempts at trolling. We had no intention of paying through the nose to see it and even less desire to do so now, but that said, I do agree with the people who have been saying that all of this secrecy is insulting to the fans who cannot afford to travel or buy overpriced tickets for this rubbish. At least let them learn the plot, for fuck’s sake.
(I assume she knew deep down that if anyone found out the plot there’s no way in hell they’d fork out to go and see it or to buy the script when it’s published.)
So far, what I’ve been able to discern is that the plot of this thing resembles what would happen if you fed the content of fanfiction.net into an algorithm, and then decided the result wasn’t stupid enough. Go get your badfic bingo cards and strap in.
We’ve got a villain who could not be more of a barely-literate teenager’s OC, right down to the implausibly coloured hair, whose very existence contradicts canon to a ludicrous extent. An insane ‘plot’ involving all the time-travel garbage Rowling always claimed to hate dealing with. And a protagonist bearing deep emotional scars because Harry went on to become even more of an abusive asshole than we predicted he would.
I have also run across a common apologetic, which goes something like this: “Of course it sounds stupid when you just list off the plot! It was written as a play, so you have to see it in that format before judging it! Lots of plays seem lacklustre in script form. When you add in the stage effects and the suchlike, it’s pretty good.” Well, to answer that in one word: bullshit. Okay, so it looks pretty, special effects are fun and you see people playing recognisable characters, so fucking what? It’s still a remarkably stupid, shallow and incoherent story, and adds absolutely nothing of interest to the greater canon.
(Me again. As I said on Skype a couple of days ago when we were first discussing this, I’m not sure how seeing a bunch of people who don’t look or sound anything like my headcanons acting out a really bad story is any better than reading about the bad story. If anything, I think it would be worse. I resent the implication that we’re all toddlers who can be distracted by shiny things and forget to be upset.)
I think that’s about the extent of what I want to say about it. Except, perhaps, this: it has apparently given us alternative timelines in which Hermione becomes a rather Snapelike professor, and in which Snape apparently survives (possibly not simultaneously, but I suppose we can hope?), so there may be some potential for half-decent fanfic in those. I leave that possibility open to any authors interested in taking it on. (Likewise, I will admit to having taken some pleasure in watching the Ron/Hermione shippers implode over various implications in the play.)
Anyway, Rowling’s a hack and her involvement in this travesty does not speak well of her as a writer. Of course, her writing and plotting abilities have always been rather poor, so has her knowledge of her own canon, as we’ve been discovering over the course of our reread… but as low as the bar was, she’s failed to surmount it. That’s rather impressive, honestly.