Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two [Special Rehearsal Edition]
Authors: J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Publication Date: 31st July 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown UK
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.
I’ve been excited for the release of this book for months. When I found out that the play would be performed in London’s West End and tickets were stupidly expensive, I was disappointed, to say the least. I really wanted to see this show – how could there be a whole new section of the story, the story that I love dearly, and I won’t even know what happens?! So, when it was announced that the play would be released as a script book, I almost jumped for joy. I went to Waterstones and instantly pre-ordered it (I couldn’t resist for £10!) and waited patiently until 31st July when the book was released.
“…Enjoy it for what it is and love the fact that we’re getting an extension to the magical world we all love”
I’ve noticed a lot of people disliking the story for being too far-fetched, too extreme, and veering too far away from the original stories. For the most part, I disagree – I really enjoyed it! Okay, I can see why people think the story is a bit weird and unexpected; I narrow my eyes in confusion a few times, and I sometimes wondered if I could take the story completely seriously. The trick, though: enjoy it for what it is and love the fact that we’re getting an official extension to the magical world we all love!
I really loved seeing how the characters from the original books progressed over time. They’re now all approaching forty years old and they have jobs, homes and children. It was great to see the children’s personalities too, and if they have similarities with their parents. One character I especially loved – someone who seems to be one of the most popular among readers – was Scorpius Malfoy. He is so different to his father Draco who, although over his prejudice against mudbloods, still doesn’t hide his disdain for Harry, Ron and Hermione. Scorpius is shy and dorky and someone I think most readers want to be friends with. The book focuses a lot on the developing friendship between Scorpius and Albus Potter and I adored it.
Isn’t it weird reading a script?!
Before I read the book I wondered how strange it would be to read the story as a script. The only scripts I’ve read were for A Level Drama a few years ago and I hated them. I found it really easy to read though, and much quicker than reading a novel. I did have to go back over a few pages because in a script you don’t get the luxury of a lot of description; apart from the odd bit of exposition, it’s all told through the dialogue. Overall though it was quick and easy to read.
If you’re a bit unsure whether to read it, I’d say go for it. If you want to get some extra back story, some Time Turner action and cameos from a lot of familiar faces (if you’re disappointed because you think someone who died in the HP books won’t be in the play, think again), then it’s definitely worth a read.
Sure, it has its flaws. But with the great writing, the reappearance of favourite characters and the vivid descriptions of the special effects that I just wish I could see on stage, I wasn’t left disappointed.