Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
A brand new installment to the Harry Potter Universe, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” introduces older fans and new fans to the younger generation of the Wizarding World. Told in the format of a script, the play the book is based on is currently being played as a two-part production in London’s West End, at the Palace Theatre. Creator of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling teams up with playwrights Jack Thorne and John Tiffany to revisit the beloved world she made.
The younger generation, namely the children of the Potters, Granger-Weasleys and Malfoys, is heading to Hogwarts. Our main characters, Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, meet on the Hogwarts Express and begin a journey similar to the ones their fathers had when they were students at the school for witchcraft and wizardry. They also meet the mysterious Delphi Diggory who joins in on their adventures.
We are introduced to many characters, both old and new. We get a glimpse into the adult lives of the Golden Trio- Harry and Hermione work in the Ministry of Magic and Ron works at his brother’s joke shop on Diagon Alley. They are the same characters we grew up with, but now they have grown up, much like younger fans have.
The plot deals mostly with the question of time: what would have happened if Cedric Diggory had never died in “Goblet of Fire”? What if Voldemort died the night he gave Harry his lightning scar? What if Umbridge remained Headmaster of Hogwarts? There is a lot of revisiting previous plot points in the original seven books. The story flows nicely, with a concept of two parts, both with two acts each. The two parts are two separate shows that you can get tickets for. Every act/part ends with a riveting cliffhanger that makes you wonder how Albus and Scorpius will get out of the rough patches.
With the story being told in the form of a script, there are many scenes left up to the imagination. Stage directions speak of wand duels and flying figures and scary trolley-cart ladies (sounds ridiculous, but is actually quite terrifying). Part of the reason why the play has already been so successful is because the staging techniques and effects are unlike any other show. This is what happens when you bring literal magic and wizarding to the theater.
Many fans gave mixed reviews of this book/play. It was the first Harry Potter literature published since “Deathly Hallows” came out back in 2007. Some people said it was like a form of “fan fiction” in the sense that it felt like it didn’t fit in the Harry Potter timeline. Others were excited to learn more about the original character’s children and see their characterization. Although Rowling said it will be the last Harry Potter book in a while, it was still something to get excited about.
I enjoyed this play very much. It was interesting to see how the younger children were, after reading so much about Harry, Hermione and Ron. I would love to be able to see the play if I ever get over to London. I chose to read this because I had never attended a midnight release of a Harry Potter book and along with my sibling, I got to do just that. I’m not ashamed to say I finished this within the day I got it.
“The Cursed Child” adds onto stories that many of us grew up with, which are always fun to revisit. I would highly recommend it to any and all Harry Potter fans. Unless you haven’t read the Harry Potter books, in which case you should definitely read those first.