Publisher: Little Brown
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Release Date: July 31st 2016
Buy The Book: Book Depository
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.
WARNING: There will be spoilers because, let's face it, I literally can't discuss this script without discussing EVERYTHING.
Where do I even start? First of all, let me make it clear that Harry Potter is my LIFE. I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without this series. So you can safely assume that I lost all chill when it was revealed that the script of the play would be published for everyone to read. You see, the announcement of the play didn’t exactly leave me jumping for joy because I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford to see it (like, ever, because travelling to and staying in London is an eeeek for me). This was a continuation of Harry Potter and I WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO WITNESS IS. So the announcement of the script book made me want to cry many happy tears.
So let’s discuss this script, shall we? I went into it fully understanding that this wasn’t going to be like a typical Harry Potter story. Obviously, it’s a play, so it’s written with the intent to be viewed, not read. I also figured that the characters may seem a little off at times with them not being written solely by our actual Queen, J.K. Rowling. Going in without unrealistically high expectations was the right decision for me because I ended up completely enjoying this script. I saw lots of different and sometimes harshly critical opinions from others when I started reading it with regards to plot holes and things being a little messed up sometimes, so I figured it was going to be quite a wild plot. What I decided to do when reading it was to not take it too seriously. Yes, there were plot holes, yes there were things that really didn’t add up, especially when compared to the original books, but I tried pushing all of that aside and just had fun catching up with these characters and meeting some amazing new ones.
The script begins exactly where Deathly Hallows left off, nineteen years after Harry defeated Lord Voldermort. Whilst he's walking his son Albus to the Hogwarts Express, we get part of the conversation between them from the final book. I liked that the script kicked things off from that part! When Albus gets on the train, he ends up meeting Scorpius Malfoy and decides to sit with him for the journey. When both of the boys are sorted into Slytherin, they become fast friends, encouraged by the fact that they are outcast by their classmates. Albus is laughed at for being the Potter who ended up in Slytherin, and Scorpius is subject to cruel rumours about him actually being the son of Voldermort. One of the best things about this script was the bond that formed between Albus and Scorpius. The son of Harry Potter and the son of Draco Malfoy both being Slytherin and becoming best friends? That was pretty much everything I could have wanted.
Along with getting to know this future generation of characters, let's talk about the originals. The Harry, Ron, and Hermione in Cursed Child are different but still the same, if that makes sense? They're older and have important jobs to be doing, but their dialogue and the friendship is just as brilliant as it always was. I'm thrilled that Hermione is Minister for Magic! Her and Ron's relationship as adults is still adorable, and their characters were great throughout the script. The plot focuses mostly on Harry's relationship with Albus. Things are tense between them because of the pressure on Albus, and I loved how the story dealt with that. Although I will admit that Harry's way of dealing with things angered me at times. (TELLING YOUR SON YOU WISH HE'D NEVER BE BORN ISN'T HOW YOU DO PARENTING, HARRY.)
I need to talk about Draco Malfoy. I AM SO HAPPY WITH HOW THIS SCRIPT PORTRAYED HIM. I particularly loved the scenes between him and Harry during which they got a proper chance to talk instead of butt heads. We finally get to learn a little about how Draco was feeling throughout the original story when he admits to Harry that he envied his friendship with Ron and Hermione. I also loved how he reacted to Scorpius being best friends with Albus, in a complete contrast to how Harry dealt with it. Draco scolding Harry for keeping them apart was EVERYTHING.
While I'm talking about the friendship between Albus and Scorpius, I can't really ignore that there has been some, um, drama with regards to how they appeared to seem a little more than just friends at times. I'm not going to go off on a rant because I've already spoken about it in my discussion video, and there have been countless articles about it since the script was published, but I will say that in my own opinion it did feel like it was, well, baiting slightly. But aside from that, I absolutely adored the scenes between them. Albus was daring and more reckless whilst Scorpius was wary and logical. His reactions to everything were hilarious and I could easily list my favourite quotes from him, but we'd be here all day. I never expected that Scorpius would end up being my favourite character, but he was by far the best thing this script had to offer.
The plot of the script itself was a little wild. A secret child of Voldermort and Bellatrix going back through time to save her father? It definitely seemed a little fan-fiction-y but we need to remember that this is a play and it's purpose is to entertain and shock those watching it, which I'm pretty sure that plot would have done! The ending of Part One was incredible. Poor Scorpius returning to the future to find the whole world different and Umbridge as Hogwarts' headmaster, it was genius. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the time-travel plot. Going back through time was a great way to catch up with characters no longer with us (yes, I’m talking about Snape), and it was also important for the moving on of the characters, for example when Harry and Albus had to be at Godric's Hollow on the night James and Lily were murdered. That aspect of the story allowed for some touching scenes.
I could be here all day chatting about this script and what I loved about it. I fully enjoyed the chance to immerse myself in the Wizarding World once more, catching up with old favourites and meeting some new ones. I had a few issues here and there, but they didn't ruin my overall reading experience. What I will say is that I found this script to be quite safe. There was nothing ground-breaking or extraordinary about it, if I'm being truly honest. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, but I just felt like if anything had the opportunity to break a few boundaries, it was this script. However I'm grateful that we were given a continuation of Harry Potter, and if I could get to London and see the play, I wouldn't hesitate to do so.