Review [No Spoilers]

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The nostalgia is strong with this one

So if you didn’t know, a new Harry Potter story is out now. It’s called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but it’s not exactly what you might’ve been expecting.

  • So even though it is a new story, it isn’t a novel. It is in fact, the script of the new Harry Potter play playing in London’s West End. And that has got a few people quite mad.
  • The play is based on a new story by JK Rowling, but it hasn’t been penned by JK Rowling herself. It was penned by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (like it says in that book cover up there).
  • The problem is that because the story isn’t really a story but actually a play, it can take some time before you start getting into it. There’s no organic ebb and flow. It’s just a bunch of dialog and stage directions.
  • Once you’ve gotten over the fact that it’s a play, the story in itself is… let’s say it’s interesting.
  • It’s about Harry’s youngest son, Albus Severus Potter and his best friend Scorpius Malfoy (yep — you read that right), and their attempt to fix a terrible tragedy that has taken place in the past.
  • Normally when I hear the word “play”, I think of Shakespeare. But this play is fantastically well written. In fact, I feel the play was written keeping in mind that at some point, people were going to read it.
  • The dialog is fun, but I couldn’t help but feel that the story itself wasn’t the usual perfection we expect from JK Rowling; it left something to be desired.
  • I’m not a huge fan of the Harry Potter movies. I thought they were immature, not well made, and wildly deviated from the original cannon (except for the last two movies of the series). This play reminded me of those movies.
  • The story moves at too fast a clip, and there are obvious plot holes.
  • There’s also the fact that this is actually a play — and as such, is meant to be seen, rather than read. As I was reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder how amazing it would be to see this all happening live, in front of me.
  • The whole point about a play is experiencing it. You can’t experience a play if you only read it.
  • So, should JK Rowling have extended the Harry Potter storyline, after ending it fantastically in Deathly Hallows? Personally, I don’t think she should’ve.
  • This new story felt forced — it didn’t feel natural (regardless of how brilliant the dialog is). The whole Harry Potter universe revolved around Harry Potter, not his uncle, not his friends, and not his sons.
  • Selling a play disguised as a story in the form of a book only compounds the problem. It takes away from the originality of Harry Potter’s universe.
  • Would I recommend that you read it? If you’re a Harry Potter aficionado, then yes. It is a Harry Potter story after all, and the nostalgia is enough to warrant that you read it. But if you’re not a Harry Potter aficionado, I’d recommend you try and go watch the play instead, because that truly is how this story is meant to be experienced.
  • One final thing: JK Rowling has confirmed that there will be no more new Harry Potter stories after this. So make of that what you will.