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.
Here’s the thing about Cursed Child. I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd, so I was squealing and jumping up and down when I heard there was going to be a new book in the universe. My favourites were COMING BACK. Who wouldn’t be excited by that?? What I didn’t realise, though, was that there wasn’t going to be a new book. There was going to be a new stage show, that they were giving us the script for because they felt sorry for us non-England folk. This is a very different situation.
A stage show is written completely differently to a novel. A novel is trying to make sure the reader can envision each and every thing that’s going on, and that the dialogue sounds natural enough that they’re practically talking to us in our heads. A script doesn’t need to worry about any of that stuff, because we can actually see it in front of us. Except I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING. So the dialogue was forced and awkward, and the description of the setting was absolutely awful. It’s hard to be engrossed in a book that says things like “the woods were dark. Albus was scared,” and similarly terrible sentences you’d never read in a proper novel. It’s not that the book didn’t have good features, but it was never going to get five stars when the writing was that terrible. I can’t be mad at it, though – it’s a script, it was written as if I was going to be seeing that Albus was scared, not just reading the words.
Don’t get me wrong, though, the plot was exceptional. I read the book in a day, because it was impossible to put down. I’m usually not a huge fan of time travel, but the ideas behind this time travel was so perfect. There was just enough Harry in there for it to be a nod to us
old fans, but Albus and Scorpius were definitely the main characters. Harry was sort of the reason that everything was happening, but it was clear that the plot of the play wouldn’t really exist without Albus. They were two new, unique characters, while still sticking in the world we already know and love. The time travel was done in a non-confusing way, which I really appreciated. The relationship between Albus and Harry was a little forced, but that was probably a lot to do with the writing. The relationship between Albus and Scorpius though… I’m always a sucker for the best-friends-dating trope, and the chemistry between these two was UNBEARABLE.
Basically, it’s a script you should get out of the library, not buy. If you get a chance to see the show, grab onto that with every part of your being, because it will be OUTSTANDING. If you’re unsure about reading it, though, maybe not worth the money.