Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two
Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication date: 31 July 2016
Genre: Play script
Buy on Hive / Buy on Foyles
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the script of the new play that recently opened in London. Entirely endorsed by J.K. Rowling, she collaborated with John Tiffany and Jack Thorne to continue where the 7th book left off – with that questionable epilogue that so many people took issue with!
I read The Cursed Child within 48 hours of its release, but I have been debating how I really feel about it ever since. My initial response was to concentrate only on the positives. It felt so good and nostalgic to read something new from the Harry Potter world that I didn’t want to admit that it might be problematic in some ways. My relationship with the wizarding world has never been a critical one!
It is undeniable, however, that the plot – a classic butterfly effect story – is far from ingenious. Entertaining as it may be, it feels almost like fanfiction and the plot includes inconsistencies that, while perhaps unnoticeable on stage, are blaringly obvious in print.
The dialogue was enjoyable and I can see how the characters would really come alive on stage. I laughed out loud at several points, harking back to the real humour that always featured in the original books. Ron, as ever, had some fantastic lines, but I was sad to see him be reduced to little more than a comic figure.
The relationship between Albus and Scorpius seemed romantic from the start. I assumed that this was a shout out to all the fanfiction writers who were always so keen to see Harry and Draco get together, but instead it came to nothing and almost felt at times like it was being treated as yet another joke, rather than the inklings of young crush or relationship. Had they been a male and female pairing, I don’t doubt that every reader would have expected them to get together at the end or, at the very least, for their feelings for each other to be acknowledged. I’m not the first to have mentioned this and I would direct you towards Jen Campbell and Claudia Boleyn, who both talk about this in a far more eloquent and informed way than me.
Despite my quibbles, reading the script has made me want to see the play more. I would love to see how they create some of the magic and special effects. I imagine it would be really spectacular. The Cursed Child is really meant to be seen on stage but, for those of us who don’t manage to grab tickets or can’t afford to splash that much cash on an afternoon at the theatre, the book is still a good replacement and a fun jump back into the wizarding world – just don’t expect too much of it.
Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Did you love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below!