Fans have been begging J.K. Rowling to tell them what happened to Harry Potter and the rest of the witches and wizards we grew to love over a seven year period. Some of them had already taken it upon themselves to dream up what would have been and it has been scattered all over the internet for every other fan to read. It seemed almost unreal when she announced that there would be an addition to the story. ANOTHER OFFICIAL HARRY POTTER BOOK, proudly above the title it said “THE EIGHTH STORY”, we absolutely lost our minds until we found out it would be a play, performed only in the UK with a script released for the rest of us who are disadvantaged by geography. We review Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
It’s been nineteen years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and nine years since we read about it. Harry is now 37 years old, married to Ginny and has three children; Albus, James and Lily (which we already knew, thanks to The Deathly Hallows).
Potterheads looked forward to seeing the character development over the nineteen years for all of their favourite characters. We wanted to see Harry succeed, having lost his parents and defeating the Dark Lord multiple times, we just wanted him to be happy, but no. Sorry Potter, not this time. I wanted to see Ron, Harry and Hermione take on tasks that were far too dangerous for them to handle. I wanted to see Draco try and intervene, but that was not what we got.
Instead, Harry was brushed aside and the story focused on Albus, Harry’s eldest son. It’s Albus’ first day at Hogwarts and out of all the kids he could befriend, he becomes best friends (it seemed like a bit more than friendship, I feel like this needs to be mentioned) with Scorpius, Draco’s son, which is convenient, since, plot twist, he is sorted in to Slytherin (Shock! Horror!) This adds to the father and son tension which already exists, but is never fully explained.
Albus and Scorpius go on an adventure, much like Harry, Ron and Hermione would, to attempt to right the wrongs of Harry Potter by going back in time and changing things, they are then faced with the circumstances of time-travel. A theory which I thoroughly enjoy, but never thought a Harry Potter plot would be based on.
The storyline was not dull, but it was lacking. It was lacking magic, detail and a lot of character development. It confirmed and reconfirmed how close Albus was to Scorpius and how far apart Albus was from Harry. The playwright script was distracting, I wanted to get lost in the magical world of Harry Potter, instead every two minutes, I was reminded that it was not a story, it was a play.
There was a hint of magic, they used time-turners and polyjuice potion and nothing we haven’t seen before. Familiar characters were briefly mentioned the way you feature multiple famous celebrities in a bad comedy movie.
All of that being said, I do believe the play must have been magnificent to watch, however, it is not easily carried across to readers. We were reading something based on a visual, instead of the other way around. Our imaginations are tired trying to fill in the gaps.
Ultimately, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a polyjuice potion version of the Harry Potter series. It looked the same, sounded the same, but it was not the same.