“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two” by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (2017) Review

It’s very difficult to come across anybody that hasn’t in some way been touched by the Harry Potter universe. It’s become such a pop culture junkie that Harry Potter will certainly live on for many years to come. Although merchandise, theme parks, new films and written material are enough to make any fan happy, the thought of a continuation of Harry’s story almost seems unheard of (according to J.K. Rowling it nearly was).

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child jumps teenage Harry’s story forward nineteen years. Remember that bitter sweet ending with the trio Harry, Ron and Hermione saying goodbye to their kids off to Hogwarts? This is where this one kicks off. At the core of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Harry’s relationship with his second child Albus and, in a way, Harry passes the reigns down to him in the eighth story.

Albus is an outcast. Having been sorted into Slytherin and become best friends with Scorpius (Draco Malfoy’s son), the two can’t escape their fathers’ shadows or reputation. Circumstances put the two boys in a position where they can change the past and save Cedric Diggory after overhearing pleas from Cedric’s Father (Cedric was needlessly killed by Voldemort at the end of the Triwizard Tournament in book four for being in the wrong place at the wrong time). Albus feels an obligation as the son of Harry to right his wrong, taking him and Scorpius on a whirlwind adventure.

In terms of the narrative and story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child seemed a little bit like the easy way out. Why bring a time turner into the midst now? Why did no one think of doing this years ago or in the other books? Don’t get me wrong, it was still a lot of fun and offered an interesting perspective in to Harry Potter universe, I just found it too easy (almost like the ‘waking up from a dream’ trope) and initially difficult to move past.

I was beyond happy to be in this wizarding world again. The play format as opposed to the release of a novel was both refreshing and captivating. Being someone who has grown up in and around theatre and shows, I immediately became obsessed with the structure of the story and pleased that even though I don’t have the opportunity to go and watch the play, I can still appreciate it.

Harry and Albus’ father and son relationship sits at the core of story. Their estranged yet loving bond was probably one of my favourite things to explore in the book. As mentioned early, Harry has grown up. He’s not a kid anymore, he’s the Father of three children and that’s a fascinating and rare exploration of his character development and narrative arc.

The ‘baddie’ reveal didn’t really feel like a ‘reveal’ to me. It’s one of those things that I struggle to deal with in narrative because if you think about it (especially in terms of singular stories, films or television episodes where the story is only brief) you’ve probably already been I introduced to this character and could figure it out if you wanted to, especially if their character is vague or seems too… conveniently placed.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child once again steals the hearts of those all around the world. I’m incredibly jealous that I’m unable to see this piece performed in front of my eyes but here’s hoping that it will continue to expand around the world or at least stay on the stage long enough to wait for me.

4/5

Book supplied by Hachette NZ – (RRP: $21.99). Click here for details.

An extra little note… The cover photo was created by me with the images sourced online. I don’t claim ownership of the images, I just love to edit.