Review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t like reading this playscript. It’s been decades since I’ve read a play, and I thought it would feel a little artificial.
I needn’t have worried. The script is so well-written that formatting fell away and I was only aware of the story.
The story picked up with the happily-ever-after part at the end of The Deathly Hallows. Harry’s grown up and married to Ron’s sister Ginny; Ron is married to Hermoine. They have kids, and they’re putting some of them on the Hogwarts Express: James and Albus Severus Potter (Albus’ first year; little Lily won’t be going for another two years), and Rose Grainger-Weasley (also a first year). Rose wants to be strategic about who they sit with on the train, but Albus is drawn to the first student he sees: Scorpius Malfoy (yes, Draco’s son). Rose leaves them to sit elsewhere, and Albus and Scorpius immediately become fast friends.
When they get to Hogwarts, the sorting hat puts Scorpius in Slytherin House. (We all saw that coming.) And Albus is sorted into — his greatest fear — Slytherin, as well.
And it all goes downhill from there. I won’t spoil it by telling you the plot, but I don’t think it will give too much away to say that a Time Turner plays a part. And yes, it is very dark.
Every once in a while I remembered this is a play and I wonder how they made all the necessary special effects on the stage. For example, the stage directions for the Time Turner read like this:
And time stops. And then it turns over, thinks a bit, and begins spooling backwards, slow at first. . .
And then it speeds up.
Just what does that look like?
I am pleased to say that a movie is in the works and the projected release date is sometime in 2021 — but with the pandemic, who’s to say for sure?
I did find a little snippet of the play on YouTube from a production in Australia. Scorpius’ role was played like a buffoon, which was not the way it read in my head.
I think it would be hard to understand this play unless you are familiar with the entire seven-book original Harry Potter series. There are many references back to events that happened while Harry was a student.
But if you are a Harry Potter fan, you really need to read The Cursed Child.