13. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (based on an original story by J.K. Rowling)
The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
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 received 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.
Since this is a play version and written as a script, you can't expect this one to be like the original Harry Potter series. There's a different vibe during this story and it didn't feel like the eighth book in the series. Yes, I am one of those people who felt that the series should have concluded with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That book just felt right for the story to end at that point; I felt that it was the right conclusion to the series.
It was hard to feel connected to the kids in this, especially Albus, as they just weren't going to compare to their parents. There was something magical in Harry, Ron, and Hermione and the rest of the characters and I felt like since it was written as a play format, you couldn't feel the magical connection to their kids.
I can appreciate the format of this book because I have performed in plays and musicals in the past, but at times, I was left bored and disinterested. It ended being more nostalgic as I liked meeting Harry and everyone else in his class again as I grew up with those characters (as someone who is 30 now, I feel as if I got older with them as they got older). It was nice seeing the original group change into the adults they are in this story because we all change as we grow into adults and figure out who we are.
Now, let's actually talk about the story itself, as that's what this review is supposed to be about. Albus feels the weight of the world on his shoulders as the son of Harry Potter, something he never asked for. Throughout Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Albus struggles with that and he wants nothing more but to try to do whatever possible to create his own identity and distance himself away from being Harry's son. He finds help with Scorpius (Draco's son) and together they team up to create some mischief, but don't realize how dangerous that can be, just like Harry and Ron used to do. It causes the past and present to come together and keep things interesting, as I don't want to give the story away.
There were a couple things I enjoyed. First, I appreciated the relationship between Albus and Harry. They may have been in conflict with each other more often than not, but I thought it kept the story interesting. Second, I enjoyed how Albus and Scorpius became friends despite being sorted in different houses and what the lack of friendship was like between their fathers. I feel like it can be applied to the world today. Too often, there are people who tell us not to be friends or associated with so and so because of different beliefs, race, etc. As long as we have things in common or similar interests with others, it shouldn't matter what race, religion, beliefs (they have), sex, identity, etc, they are.
I had a love-hate relationship with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
1. Don't compare it to the original Harry Potter series. You'll just end up being disappointed.
2. While I didn't mind the play format, I thought it got in the way of the dynamics of the actual story.
3. It would be better to see this performed than to read it. (And yes, I usually like the book more than a movie or play version)
4. As a Harry Potter fan, you will still enjoy getting to know Harry, Ron, Hermionie, and Draco as adults.
Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!