2017, fantasy, play, review

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne & John Tiffany

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne & John TiffanyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #8
Published by Pottermore
Pages: 320
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.

I understand the widespread disappointment with HP fans regarding this “eighth” Harry Potter book, but I really enjoyed it. As a play it reads differently, mostly because we don’t have access to what we had in the books. This story is also vastly different from the original seven books – it’s more mature, character driven and less about the magic. It definitely doesn’t have the feel of an eighth book, and it rightly shouldn’t – it’s a glimpse into a new world with some slightly familiar characters. 

First, it’s a play. The dialogue is wonderful and readable. I saw a lot of people stuck on the fact that JK Rowling didn’t write most of this and therefore “didn’t feel like Rowling’s Harry Potter”, which really shouldn’t matter. This was meant to be performed, not read. The story unravels in the dialogue and not the narrator. Yet it still managed to translate for me as a book, and one that I enjoyed.

 

The plot was interesting, but definitely less about the magic and more about relationships particularly Harry and his son Albus. It was interesting to peak behind the curtain of Harry Potter all grown up, especially as someone who considers myself to have grown up with Harry Potter, it’s nice to see where these characters I cherished as a kid and teen ended up. I think people looking for more of that magical world won’t find happiness in this book, and those looking to “catch up” with a beloved character will find themselves resolved. 

And I would have loved to see this performed. Maybe one day! 

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