Below are some thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Warning: spoilers ahead!
I don’t read many plays but of course I had to make an exception for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.
Likes: the characters, namely Harry/Ginny’s and Hermione/Ron’s children were fleshed out well; Scorpius was oddly likeable and endearing and by far the most memorable character (he’d definitely be Team Instinct judging by the way he’s always trying to keep the peace between everyone around him) and of course just re-visiting the wizarding world in general
Dislikes: so much teen angst! I wasn’t expected Harry to have a problem teenager but lo and behold he does and his name is Albus Severus Potter; also hard to see Harry and Ginny together after J.K. Rowling herself said she’d always intended Harry and Hermione to end up together; and finally, the progression of the story wasn’t quite what I was expecting and the first half was much better than the second
Overall, I enjoyed reading this play. The storyline was clever and riveting and exactly the kind of adventure I’d have expected to have happened. It was quite dark, too, even though these days the phrase dark magic makes me think of her. Example:
BANE: I’ve seen your son, Harry Potter. Seen him in the movements of the stars.
HARRY: You’ve seen him in the stars?
BANE: I can’t tell you where he is. I can’t tell you how you’ll find him.
HARRY: But you’ve seen something? You’ve divined something?
BANE: There is a black cloud around your son, a dangerous black cloud.
HARRY: Around Albus?
BANE: A black cloud that may endanger us all. You’ll find your son again, Harry Potter. But then you could lose him forever.
Unfortunately, almost immediately after Act I, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this was reading like fan fiction. Think about it: Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy both grow up to have sons the same age who later meet at Hogwarts, are sorted into the same house (Slytherin) and may-or-may-not be (but probably are) in love. What about that doesn’t sound like fan fiction? That’s not to say it was bad fan fiction, it just felt like one of dozens of different stories as to how the gang could have ended up years and years later, it just didn’t feel like the one I was expecting.
Have you read it yet? Would you see the play? I think it would be a fantastic play to see live, possibly better seen onstage than read but that’s just me 🙂