Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is being dubbed the 8th story in the much-loved series. Cursed Child is a play, based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne and is currently running on stage in two parts at the Palace Theatre, London. For those who couldn’t get to see the live performance, the script was published in a book.
As a massive fan of Harry Potter another episode in the series was a long awaited chance to keep living the magic in a new way (rather than re-reading the books and re-watching the films) – and I couldn’t wait to read it. Although its very nature as a script means it doesn’t have the same magical descriptions as the original, the stage directions do their best to paint a picture.
I think it’s best to begin reading with the knowledge that it’s a play script and therefore it’s not written in the same style as Rowling’s Harry Potter, otherwise like many of those complaining all over the internet you may be disappointed. I personally quite enjoy reading plays and found myself drawn in pretty quickly as I sped through the pages. The main disappointment for me is not that it’s written in script format (as the intention was always for it to only be a play), but that reading the stage directions and speech rather than seeing it live means you somewhat miss out on what is, apparently quite a spectacular show.
I had assumed that since the book is set ’19 years Later…’ it would, as the premise suggests, follow the cast into the future. In some ways, it does and allows an insight into what all the characters have been up to since we all put that last book down with a sigh of contentment and equal remorse at its end. We, of course, catch up with the golden trio Harry, Hermione and Ron. We also get to hear a little of what became of characters such as Draco Malfoy, Professor McGonagall, Neville Longbottom and Potter’s wife Ginny.
Alongside all the original characters we get to meet and follow the next generation of witches and wizards including Potter’s children James, Lily and one of the play’s main characters his younger son Albus. We also meet Ron and Hermione’s daughter Rose and Draco’s son Scorpius as they head off for their first year at Hogwarts.
As well as this look into the future the play does heavily lean on the original story. Without giving away too many plot spoilers, the story takes us back to the past using dreams and flashbacks, that take Potter fans straight back to the action they know and love, bringing up all the emotions we felt the first time round. I must admit there were times where I became a bit emotional and nostalgic reading some of the scenes.
Once I got into the rhythm of the play, the actual story it follows hooked me pretty quickly and kept me there right until ‘the curtain dropped’. Dramatic, action-packed and exciting, it makes a great read and I’m sure an even better performance.
Whilst I greatly enjoyed reading the play and reliving the excitement and wonder of the Harry Potter universe, I would love to get a chance to see it live at some point in the future to truly get the best from its story and amazing set.