I still remember the first time I heard about the Harry Potter series… My little brother and I were at a school book fair and he was trying to describe the plot line. “It’s about this orphan whose parent were killed by this evil wizard and his family makes him sleep in a closet and then he finds out he can do magic…”
It sounded dumb. But already the avid reader, I picked up the first book right around the same time the hype for the fourth book was ramping up and I’ve been a fan ever since. Now as an adult, discovering that another Harry Potter book was in the making… and with the characters as adults? Sweet! My husband and I picked up a copy on July 31st and I dove right in.
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.
First, I need to explain something to all of the Harry Potter fans out there.
THIS IS NOT A NEW HARRY POTTER NOVEL!
This is a SCRIPT for the play that opened last weekend. Many people seemed to believe that The Cursed Child would be just another one of the novels, but it is written in script format, meaning it consists almost entirely of dialogue. And although the manuscript is based on a short story by Rowling, the manuscript was actually written by Jack Thorne, a playwright who gives his own unique voice to the characters.
Taking all of that into account, I really enjoyed it! I’ll admit, some of the Hogwarts magic is lost in this writing format, but that just made me more excited to see the play. The dialogue is witty and written with a level of humor meant to be enjoyed by adult audiences. Thorne did a good job keeping the words and reactions true to the characters we all know and love, but in a way that also made it realistic for a 30 or 40 something parent attempting to raise a moody teenager.
Admittedly, there were some plot holes and inconsistencies that I won’t get into here to avoid spoilers, but they didn’t interfere with the story line as a whole. The piece did a wonderful job stirring up all of those wonderful nostalgic feelings with Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Ron, and Draco as well as appearances from Snape, Dumbeldore, and a few of our other favorites. Some of the new characters were amazing as well. I feel like I could just about cuddle Scorpio to death…
I give this new addition to the Harry Potter world 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re looking to pick it up, give yourself a chance to appreciate it for what it is: a play script.
Now I can’t wait to see it as a live performance!