This is a slight adaptation to my 5 reasons to read feature. Normally I would give five reasons for you to read a book but I think you should read this play if you’re a Harry potter fan anyway. I also couldn’t find a way to put into words my thoughts on the play, especially as I was only reading a script and that could never compare seeing it live on stage. In the end, I decided the best thing to do was give you a list of non-spoiler filled thoughts I had whilst reading that may help motivate you to get reading, especially if you are one of those readers that gets so excited about reading something you immediately decide to not read it as it can never compare to the idea in your mind. It ended up being five thoughts (well, it was a couple more it seemed fitting to trim down to five).
Also, please admire my fabulous handwriting in my slightly edited header to fit the name change for this post.
Shall we begin?
Genre: Fantasy, is Harry Potter a genre?
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
It picks up where we left off in Deathly Hallows.
One thing I really enjoyed about the play is that we are essentially going from where we last left Harry & Co and I loved that. It’s like returning to old friends and seeing how things are. I think it needed to be that way so you feel comfortable. I was very nervous I wouldn’t like the play so to begin somewhere familiar was a comfort. I mean, I know the characters are familiar, but there are new ones and the ones I know have aged and growing up can change a person a bit.
It’s sort of like reading fanfiction but not at the same time.
One thing I will say about this play is it feels a bit like fanfiction. I think it’s because I never expected to get more of the Harry potter world. There were brief glimpses of character history on Pottermore but I never expected a story beyond that of Deathly Hallows so immediately reading it I already felt like I’d entered the fanfiction world. Then, some of the story elements just smacked of fanfiction to me as well. That was probably unintentional, I mean, the fandom has explored every potential storyline you could imagine and some you probably had never even thought of so it was difficult for the play to not have elements of fanfiction to it. The voices felt very spot on and I really enjoyed it but I couldn’t help questioning ‘is this really part of canon?’'’ and I can’t decide if that is good or bad.
I loved the characters, Ron is my favourite and that is shocking.
Now, don’t hate me, but I was never a massive fan of Ron. He complained too much and got jealous of Harry for the most ridiculous reasons. No matter how much I reminded myself he was a kid growing up and they get jealous over stupid things, and he is one of like ten million children (or 7) so it sucks feeling like you’re competing with your best friend to be noticed. I get Ron wasn’t being a dick in the books but I find it really hard to forgive his childish behaviour, such as in Goblet of Fire when he took forever to forgive Harry or in book 7 when the Horcrux totally affected his moods. I think my issue with Ron has always been that he realises his mistakes but he struggles to apologise and admit when he’s wrong.
Anyway, this is not a rant about Ron. I actually want to say I liked him so much more in the play. he was funny and a good friend and I loved his relationship with Hermione. And I just really liked him. There were some darker moments in the play and I think Ron really gave it some light-hearted relief when needed. He wasn’t just comedic timing, though. He really cared and I think grown up Ron was everything he had the potential to be and showed glimpses of in the books without the hormonal teenage drama and jealousy which frequently ruined the character for me.
The thing is, it wasn't just Ron. I really enjoyed so many of the characters in this book. I really liked Draco and Scorpius and their relationship. I don't want to say too much, but I enjoyed all the characters we saw, I only wish some people got a bit more page time. Also, the absence of certain characters was strongly felt and I wish everyone got to be in it.
The story was completely unexpected and I liked it.
I think, for me, The Cursed Child was very much shrouded in mystery. I didn’t know what to expect from the play or what kind of storyline it was going to be and I thoroughly enjoyed what I got. I remember the theories which used to bounce around with the announcement of each Harry Potter book title. The ideas about what it means and who will be what. I mean, don’t we all remember trying to guess who the Half Blood Prince was? I liked that they kept it all secret with the play and what it would be about. Everyone was guessing who The Cursed Child was an dit made me all nostalgic for previous release dates.
It was a perfect dip back into the Harry Potter universe and I love that we got this.
Look, people may have their issues with the play, I certainly had a few thoughts about it, but I am so glad we got to bring back the excitement of the previous Harry Potter books. I know it wasn’t whole new book and we haven’t necessarily gotten some of the stories we all want but it was a pleasure to return to a world which feels like home. And the best thing is if you didn’t like it you can ignore it as canon. It doesn’t affect the world we already know and love and you can ignore the exploration 19 years in the future (or the present day world of Harry Potter). I think that’s why it was so mart to do the play in this way, if Rowling had decided to delve into the past and do something then it very well could impact the Harry potter canon and that would be awful if people didn’t like it.
Have you read The Cursed Child yet, or even been lucky enough to see it on stage? What were your thoughts? Are you happy to return to the world of Harry potter or did you want to leave it as it was?