by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Title: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Author: John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Publishd By: Little, Brown UK
Book: #8 Harry Potter
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Plays
Rating: 4 Voodoos
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
I really don’t think The Cursed Child is comparable or should be compared to Harry Potter, not because it isn’t good but because of these two reasons:
1. It’s a play – a completely different format to the original fictional novels. Plays requires different elements, stage directions for example. The writers have had to consider the space available in a theatre and show it in the script through character direction and interaction. We’re not used to reading such blunt movements in a novel. Another example would be character thoughts. Each characters thoughts have had to be voiced through monologues and (sometimes odd) conversations. This is definitely something we didn’t have in the original Harry Potter books.
2. It’s written by someone else – this is not written by JK Rowling and therefore really shouldn’t be treated as such. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read the books or how well you think you understand the authors intent. Everyone reads and interprets characters, settings and stories differently and because of this there will be changes.
With these two things in mind I would like to start by saying I really enjoyed The Cursed Child. I found the dialogue really witty and readable, and the story itself, very easy to follow. I loved imagining all the extra around-the-theatre sound effects. I can only think it must be so magical, if a little scary, to actually experience.
The plot was a little predictable. For me, it was kind of obvious how Albus and Scorpius’ time-travelling antics were going to go but it didn’t stop me enjoying them. The idea of time-travel and changing the past isn’t something new to the Harry Potter stories but it did allow us to revisit a few of the best bits of the originals and consider the significance of every little detail. I thought this idea was handled really well and did justice to the original books.
What I loved the most about this play was the relationships. It was wonderful to see how Harry, Hermione and Ron had grown up and that their friendship was still as strong as ever. It was great to see that even these three characters who saved the world, still struggled through everyday life, making them just as relatable now as they were when I read the original books.
But for me, the thing that made this story so amazing was the new friendships and relationships we were introduced to. The relationship between Harry and Albus was emotionally fraught. Harry was unable to connect with Albus and every time he tried to reach out to him he seemed to make things worse, leaving Albus feeling like a disappointment. I just wanted to hug them both.
Albus did find happiness though, in an unexpected friendship between himself and Scorpius, the son of Draco Malfoy. Scorpius was easily the best addition to this series. He was funny, loyal and strong in the face of persecution. I loved every scene he was in as his optimism shone through every page.
After finishing this addition to the Harry Potter series I’m left with feelings of nostalgia and hope. Nostalgia because it was lovely to revisit old friends and hope because one day, I will get my hands on tickets to see this performed live on stage. (I know I’ll be waiting a while but at least I know I’m in for a treat!)