Date finished: Friday 30th December 2016
First time reading?: Yes, but I did see the play back in November.
From Goodreads: “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.”
Hogwarts is my happy place. It has been ever since I discovered “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone” when I was eleven years old myself. Apparently I commented to my husband I was glad I was in the midst of a reread of the series when my grandmother was at the end in hospital; my husband proposed to me in the Great Hall at the Warner Brothers Studio tour in London. I am a proud Ravenclaw.
Upon the release of the ticket sales back whenever that was, we managed to get four tickets to the play in London in November of 2016, and so I refused to read or even purchase the book of the script when it was published so I could see the play as it was intended with untainted opinion.
Seeing the magic performed on stage was … well … magical. How some of the things were done I cannot even begin to fathom. It brought the universe that little bit closer to true reality (“Just because it’s happening inside your head, doesn’t mean it isn’t real”). I won’t lie to you: two full length plays in the space of a day, even a “Harry Potter” play, is tough going. It’s a long time to spend in the theatre.
My sister bought me the hardback copy of the script for Christmas this year, and my opinions upon finishing reading this are the same as they were after finishing the play. I am going to try so hard to keep this review as spoiler free as possible and to #KeepTheSecrets but I appreciate how difficult it is going to be without giving too much away. I will try my best.
The book was incredibly easy to read, which surprised me as I often struggle to read books of plays. I prefer to watch them on stage and I find it much easier to follow what’s happening that way. They are designed for theatre after all.
My problem with “Cursed Child” is that my brain just cannot accept it as canon. When we saw “Fantastic Beasts” in the cinema, my brain just said ‘Yep, that happened, that’s official’ but it won’t let me do that with this. I did enjoy the storyline, but it felt a little bit like fan fiction. After a conversation with my husband earlier today about it he suggested maybe thats just how it translated to the stage, but I still feel that way after reading the book too – unless of course reading the book AFTER seeing the play and already form opinions on it all has given me a slight bias.
I’m not going to go into too much detail; if I start doing that I’m pretty sure I’ll start giving spoilers away. It’s also turning out to be incredibly difficult to talk about the book without referring back to the play too much. While it’s always lovely to return to the Wizarding World, I just feel that “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is missing something that the rest of the books and movies set in this universe have in heaps; I just can’t put my finger completely on what it is.
My rating: 6.5/10