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.
A mere 48 seconds ago I turned the final page of J.K. Rowling’s eighth Harry Potter novel, published twenty years later, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ and boy am I still reeling. This story left me with a boundless supply of raw emotions – this one seriously brings the feels. To me though, ‘The Cursed Child’ is much more than just another incredible addition to the beloved saga of Harry and his friend’s adventures. To me, ‘The Cursed Child’ is a beautifully written send off to the characters I adore. I feel that this story is a nod to the characters who survived and the characters who perished, the ones we lost during the expanse of the seven original works. It’s a beautifully nostalgic gift to us Potter fans that I will forever be grateful for. So thank you yet again J.K. Rowling for giving me another chance to walk through your incredible world.
This is a story world, a universe that I have spent most of my childhood wandering, a world I adore with every fibre of my being. Novels that I have read and re-read again and again for nineteen years and this addition is a new favourite. Like most ‘Cursed Child’ readers, mine was the generation that lived Harry Potter. Not only do I share my birth year with this incredible series but I remember eagerly waiting for each instalment, saving my ‘pocket money’ for each book, treasuring my hardcover UK first editions and dragging my mum to see each film at the cinemas. I remember crying as I watched and re-watched the final instalments and so boy was this one a treat. ‘The Cursed Child’ bestows us with glimpses of most (the key word here being most) of our favourite characters, tiny facets that show us what has become of our heroes and I loved every moment of it. ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ took on a very different feel when compared with the other works but will still resonate with fans like me across the globe.
Now, despite the nostalgic feels and emotions, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ isn’t actually a novel; it’s a play whose script has been published so that those who don’t have the means to see the play might be able to get a glimpse of this new addition. Therefore, this does not read like any of the other works. This is not a book driven by plot but a play driven but its character’s dialogue. Yet still it evokes the same feelings and emotions as any other. I still had that sense of magic, that sense that I was seeing my old friends once more. For those who did get the opportunity to see the play (you lucky dogs!) all I can say is it must have been magically, utterly bewitching. As I read I still pictured Daniel, Emma and Rupert as Harry, Hermione and Ron, the scenes playing out in my head much like the films but I could still see this as a production. I could imagine the opulent, vivid sets; I could picture the staircases changing, the lightening evoking the magic and spells, the music, the effects, the makeup and costumes – I could see it all making it a very unique read.
Without discussing the plot, which was incredible and magical in its own right, (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the magic for those who have yet to pick up this addition!) ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is very different. Not only do we follow our hero’s children and see Harry, Ron and Hermione as adults still struggling with their pasts but we see a much darker side to Harry. Mature and dark, this one tackles themes like depression, focusing on the hardships and frustrations faced when parenting a child. It explores relationships, relationships between friends, between family and specifically, relationships between a father and a son. Despite Harry, the hero of the Second Wizarding War conquering both the Dark Lord and death he still, like most, struggles with bringing up his son. This is a complex story, much like the relationship between Harry and Albus themselves, woven into a rather fast passed, fun read whose pages fly between your fingertips.
Now I could go on, I really could, for pages and pages on how truly I loved this book. I could talk about how I adored the new characters, how they compared to those who came before them, how they changed the dialogue and story. I could go into a spoilery review, discussing the return of my favourite character and how I felt about it. I could talk about the writing itself, the plot. I could keep you here forever. But I won’t. Firstly, because I want you to go off and see just how wonderful this book is for yourselves and secondly because, like I said, I could go on forever and we’d be here all day. So I’ll finish with this; ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is humours and nostalgic yet thought provoking and complex. It’s a new addition, a most likely the final, to a huge saga spaning both years and generations that will be adored and beloved for years still to come. No, it’s not the same as the first seven books, it’s not the final instalment of Harry’s adventures. What it is is a gift. A beautiful gift for those of us who have walked in Harry’s shoes for the past twenty years. It’s a nod to the original, letting us glimpse old friends again. So in a word (or two!) – I highly recommend! And I will finish on this – mischief managed, nox.