In Which I Melt Your Brains with My Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Reactions

Totally (almost) non-spoilerey, scene-by-scene reactions!

This is how it all began:

The book has arrived! So excited to start reading #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild!!

So many EEEEEEEs!! (Of excitement, not terror!)

And then:

Eww! Harry, Ron and Hermione sound like bored suburban parents in Act 1, Scene 1 & 2. Nothing magical! :(

Act 1 Scene 3 (A1S3) of #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild is looking interesting! They’re going to try and invert things i think! Cool!


I LIKE Scorpius! Only one with any humanity/ personality so far!

So sweet he is, this Scorpius! To think I could ever appreciate a Malfoy! Well played! Well played!

I’m confused! How can the Sorting Hat be walking??

And then the Sorting Hat “puts his hat on Rose’s head”! Strange right?

Poor Albus!! I feel for him now! Bad Sorting Hat!

Someone or something has totally cursed Albus! (I hope he’s not the Cursed Child!!) #poormite

Wow! Is Harry clueless about Albus in A1S4, or what? They couldn’t have a heart to heart over the holidays?

They’re overdoing Platform 9 3/4! It’s not that charming! I feel rushed, like I should catch a train!

Draco Malfoy has a ponytail! Cool!

Harry should get a prize for sensitive person of the year! #Not #WhatAMeanie

How are the Malfoys getting all the empathy till this point?

I cannot stop raving about how sweet this #ScorpiusMalfoy is!! Only kid-like kid in here! #adorable

Why couldn’t they have a scene at Harry’s house? Does everything need to be resolved at the platform?

Here I am, heart breaking for #ScorpiusMalfoy! Sniff!

Uf! Finally that never-ending Act 1, Scene 4 is over! Devastating! Onto 5.


To sugar or not to sugar is the question apparently!

Happy for feminism BTW!

The dialogue in the book was so much better! #nostalgia


Finally! We arrive at Harry and Ginny’s house!! #ICanBreatheNow

Things are getting serious! I sense that we are about to enter the actual plot!

Oh someone who’s cheerful at last! #Delphi! Reminds me I miss how Ron used to lighten things up. Sigh!

I really like clumsy characters! They’re so charming! I’m rooting for Delphi!


Awww! Poor Harry! He’s trying so hard! okay, I’m coming around to grown up Harry. Hooray!

Whoopsy Daisies! The way the scene ends!! #suspense


The Dursleys are back! #why? #whygodwhy

Complete rerun. Why was it necessary? No idea!

A1S9 : Things are heating up! Portents are portending! Terribly stilted husband-wife conversation! That’s A1S9 for you!


Why do they have to be so self-conscious about hugging?

Some action is beginning to boil up! At last! #Yay!


Oh my gosh! The trolley witch! Wow!

And off we go!

A1S12: Expected more from Hermione’s character! Draco being the old Draco. O well!

A1S13: Cute!

A1S14: I miss the books! They were so much richer! Anyway, the action proper begins here.

A1S15: Harry, Ron, etc. haven’t been written right. Don’t feel right as adults or teens. But revelation time!

A1S16: O look! Polyjuice Potion my old friend! #huh? #why?


It’s way too freaky to hear the words”My Department” coming from the mouth of Harry Potter!

Still don’t understand #Albus at all! Even at Act 1 Sc 17. Maybe he’ll grow on me?


Tension rising! I start to believe a little…

I have one word: Ewwwwww!!

So many #Ewwwwws!!


Complete chaos with none of the cleverness of the books. Or structure. Meh!

Really? It was all laid out to solve and find? Why? What? How? Also, too easy! Like sloppy fan fiction!

A2S1: Young Harry will break your heart! Also, nice magical suspense being built up! #prayingforliftoff

A2S2: Tiny scene but hard work to read this overall! I am flagging fast! Even with breaks.

A2S3: Why are they all so rushed and cryptic? Great plays are never so!

A2S4: Wow! Feminism happened for nothing! Nothing I tell you! Also, Ew!

A2S5: Seriously, why do the centaurs have to be so mean? Mean writing ya! Just mean! Don’t we get to like anyone? It all has to be angst, angst, angst, is it?

A2S6: Scorpius strikes again! There he goes being all sweet and tugging at the heartstrings!

A2S6: Look, look! Magic! Special effects! Kinda feels like a Harry Potter. Distantly.

A2S7: More of the old. They don’t like girls here. Mom and daughter are identical? Magical cloning? #Wow

A2S7: Oh, Oh! Excitement! Strum and Drang!! Suspense! That’s what I’m talking about!


Dumbledore reduced to ‘kindly’! Oh unkind fate!

Dude, you’re an adult now! Make your own decisions already!

Okay, sorry! Wrong advice! Harry sucks at adulting!

A2S9: What on earth is PANJU!!! They know it’s slang in India, right? Wow! Just wow!! #EWWWWW

A2S9: Harry! Harry! Harry! Some sensitivity would be much appreciated by us all!

A2S10: What a numpty!! Harry that is. Do these writers just hate Harry?

A2S11: And Hermione too? They have gone too far I tell you! There will be an uprising!

A2S12: Those poor mites #Albus and #Scorpius! This is the emotional heart of the story!

A2S13: As adults also they’re using Expelliarmus! No imagination only!


How on earth does a non-student/non-teacher just slip into Hogwarts like that? Did they not read Hogwarts: A History?

Drowning in sentiment here!

A2S15: How come only one thing, Ron-Hermione changes? #TheyMustThinkWe’reDim

A2S15: Draco Malfoy! So very human. Who knew? I like it! Ginny’s pretty cool too!

A2S16: Uh! Apparently the jealously was all important! Weak! #TheyMustThinkWe’reDim


Okay, they’re taking the underdog thing too far and too literally with no resonance!

Where has all of McGonagall’s power gone?

Boys expressing their emotions. Nice idea, badly done.

A2S17: O Ron! O Hermione! Double sigh!

A2S18: Filler. Necessary. But…

A2S19: Will it work?

A2S20: Oh oh! Albus and Scorpius really messed it up this time! What scamps! But it’s getting compelling!

A3S1: Chilling! Also, go alternate Scorpius!

A3S2: Total terror now! What a world! Clever, to conjure this possibility…

A3S3: At least Draco didn’t go all Voldermort on Scorpius!

A3S4: How can alternate Scorpius be soooooo different?

A3S5: This is the real stuff, this scene! Nice new spell: Colloportus!

A3S6: Go Hermione!! Be an Amazon! Don’t ever give up your power! Also, is Dumbeldore considered God/God-like?

A3S7: So funny! Ron, Hermione and the big SURPRISE! Onto the reversals then!

A3S8: Rinse and repeat! Ludo Bagman gets more insufferable every time!

A3S9: Can’t talk! Reading! Shhhhh!

A3S10: It should end here, but isn’t. What’s going on?

A3S10: At least McGonagall’s found herself again!

A3S11: Sons and fathers I tell you! Even when they have a heart to heart, it’s not a heart to heart!

A3S12: Woweee!! I’m a little scared! Hold me!

A3S13: Danger! Run!

A3S14: That scamp Scorpius! So sweet and sincere too! It’s not too early to declare him my favorite, right?

A3S15: I keep wondering, was that scene necessary?

A3S16: It’s all going pear shaped and it’s time for the tables to turn and give us the big reveal! Brace yourself!

A3S17: Why did we have to witness the utter joyless and mundaneness of the Harry Potter kids as grown ups? Even the romance falls flat! Persistent question for this book: WHY?

A3S18: Now you tell us! Actual villain come forth!

A3S19: Oh how the worm turns and how false heroism fails!

A3S20: So confused and confusing and then you realize the utter futility of it all!! Where you just have to stand by and watch!! The horror!

A3S21: Huh! Yes, yes, visually awesome but all hokey prophecies! Very convenient ones!


Again with the undermining real-Hermione! What are they doing?

Fatalistic much? Has a few resonances though. Makes you care, in a despairing way.

A4S2: Back to where it all started! Did they have to? I’m tired!

A4S3: A-quivering!!? Who talks like that? Who puts a word like that into a teenage boys mouth? Expository scene. No action.


It’s all about loooove!

This is like Han Solo and Princess Leia : “I know.”

What is happening?!?

Draco’s revelation! We totally should have guessed! Clever Hermione!

Still, it all seems futile! Unless —

A4S5: The teen conquering heroes figure out a way!! Will they? WILL THEY?

A4S6: Do they? Huh? Huh? (BTW: Totally implausible bit of magic!)

A4S7: I caught a typo! I caught a typo! (My editor’s heart is so happy right now!)

A4S8: Uf! How much Deus Ex Machina can a story sustain?


Will there be some resolution to the storm in the teacup?

Ginny figures it out! At least someone’s thinking!

A4S10: Surprise! Disguise! Will it work? Can it ever be so simple?


Passable performance there as the epitome of eeeevil! Lots of action!

Question: How can the Malfoys not know anything about a child born in Malfoy Manor??

A resolution with no empathy at all.

A4S12: They could and should have changed it all but instead they still stood there! And it’s heartbreaking! I need a cuddle! #WhereIsMyLiveTeddyBear

A4S13: I can’t even!

A4S14: Back to the status quo of cute teens! Also, what’s with all these self-conscious hugs? And have you noticed there’s no cute British slang at all? No ‘git’, etc. I miss that! #GiveMeTheBooksAnyDay

A4S15: The proper heart to heart! Love wins the day! Sweet. Slightly mawkish but sweet too. Stop being cynical!

So there you have it, the kids had a romp and we said hello to most everyone and move forward an inch. Huge plus: Scorpius is altogether adorable! I’d read more about him in a shot. This one? Maybe I’ll read it once more. In a calmer frame of mind.

Should you read it?

It has pros and cons, the play. The books are definitely better. Read it if you want to revisit the world and catch up with the grown-up gang and the next generation.

(A version of this review first appeared on Light Under Shadow.)