Nine Years Later, We Get A New Story Built For The Stage. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review
Before we begin this review, I feel I need to make clear that this is NOT a new story i.e. a novel. This is a hardcover of the script for the play, which has premiered in London and is destined to tour around the world. With that in mind, all that beautiful world building and description that J.K.Rowling is renowned for is missing and you are solely relying on the dialogue.
Don’t expect a novel. Expect a story that needs to be performed.
That said, the plotline; the heart of the story is beautiful and fulfilling. Set Nineteen Years later, it picks up where we were left off. On platform Nine and Three Quarters, with Albus, James and Rose setting off for Hogwarts. From then on, we see fear and doubts of living up to heavy expectations. The past refuses to stay there and the future just looks clouded. Added with struggles of parenthood and others judgement, this storyline is quite refreshing while still having that Harry Potter feel to it.
With relatively powerful dialogue and compelling stage directions (making me want to see this on a stage even more) this script really does pluck the strings of the reader’s imagination. However, and this might be one of the drawbacks of reading a script, I feel that the childish charm has gone.
If you’ve grown up with Potter then it makes sense that the childish charm from the books has all but disappeared, since he is now a 40 year old man with three children. But there’s no childish charm with the younger characters of the play, no wit that helped make the much loved book series achieve the greatness it has. Even The Deathly Hallows, while looking into the face of death and danger, had a childish whim.
Of course, this might be a simple case of having to see two actors on stage bring out this charm, especially the actors playing Albus and Scorpius (which will spark a whole new wave of fanfiction), but it feels like it is solely an adult play with adult issues. Maybe that’s me wanting to cling onto my childhood (as the daunting 20 approaches each day) but it might make it harder for young children, who brought Harry Potter to life, access it.
4 out of 5.
By Jack Wilkin