Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eight chapter in the Harry Potter series, given to us in the form of a screenplay. This story is NOT written solely by (Queen) J.K. Rowling, but is actually co-written by Jack Thorne, who has written for the television shows Skins and Shameless. I’m assuming most people already have read this or at least know the story, but if not: this play picks up at the end of the original series, with the Trio at King’s Cross dropping their kids off for school. The play follows both Harry’s middle child, Albus Severus, who is nervous about being sorted into Slytherin house and living up to the legend that is his father, and Harry himself as he is navigating adulthood and parenthood in the Wizarding World.
I didn’t hate this story, but I didn’t love it either. I think after 9 years without a new Harry Potter story, we all overhyped this story that has defined our generation to the point where we were setting ourselves up for disappointment – similar to the criticism from the latest Star Wars movie. When you are building on something that is already a huge phenomenon, it is going to be difficult to meet everyone’s expectations.
I liked seeing some of our favorite characters again, but they did not always live up to their personality. Harry was the real wild card. Even 15-year-old Harry Potter, who was dealing with hormones, being discredited by the entire Wizarding community and being sort-of possessed by Voldemort in his dreams, was not this bad. He said things completely out of character, especially toward his child and Professor McGonagall, who was essentially a mother figure toward him throughout his youth.
The play did feel a little like fan fiction at times, which isn’t always a bad thing. Just look at those totally awesome Potter musicals that StarKid released. But some of the plot points that Jack Thorne used did not make complete sense, such as how time travel worked in the Wizarding World. There was also a very stupid “plot twist” that came completely out of left field and can not possibly be canon because it makes no sense in the context of the previous books. I’m sure you will know what that is if you have already read the play. I don’t want to spoil in case anyone still would like to read it.
I feel I should add that this is the rehearsal script, not the final script. I am assuming that before this hits the West End rewrites and edits will have been made. I would like to see this play at some point if it ever comes across the pond to America. Some of the set descriptions sounded very interesting and I’m sure the final product will be a truly magical experience.
Overall, it was great to go back to Hogwarts, but next time I’ll just travel over to YouTube for the musicals.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.
What were your thoughts on Cursed Child? Did you have a favorite character? And have you seen any of the Harry Potter musicals? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!