Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Book and Play Review

The eighth story. Nineteen years later.

So I read the story when it first came out in 2016, and managed to get tickets in 2017 for a show in 2018. I wanted to wait until I saw the stage production before giving you the full review. As of Wednesday 6 June, I am all Harry Potter’ed up.

This review contains no spoilers of neither the play nor book of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, however the story itself does contain spoilers of the previous 7 Harry Potter books.

Without further ado…

The plot:

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.

IT’S JUST SO… MAGICAL (sorry, not sorry).

I’m genuinely obsessed with Harry Potter. I’ve grown up with it, watched the films hundredfold and read the books double that. Side note: my ex had never watched/read/had anything to do with Harry Potter and had no interest in doing such (an ex for a reason, clearly).

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is something that all fans of Harry Potter should read/see. In general, there were a few things in the story itself that I didn’t like, but it’s still a 10/10 watch/read for me.

About the book/ story:

  • As it is a script, it takes a few pages to get into the formatting, and Jack Thorne’s stage directions are somewhat strange at first (but you get used to them);
  • Although we know that this is nineteen years on, I still couldn’t help but picture the characters I grew up with;
  • I was indefinitely nostalgic the whole way through – little jokes and sayings are put in, and you really know that J.K. Rowling has thought about every sentence and made sure that we feel this way;
  • The concept of the story is great, but one element just didn’t sit well with me (it’s minor, but not the Harry Potter stories that we know).

The stage production:

  • I laughed, I cried, I jumped, and I was definitely in awe;
  • The cast definitely deserved the standing ovation they received;
  • Tickets are quite expensive, as you have to pay for both Part 1 & Part 2, but oh boooy I’d pay over and over again;
  • Fave part: An appearance from Umbridge, and honest to god, guys, when she giggled, about 90% of the audience let out a ‘EUGH’ noise.

The production itself was crazy good. The audience knew that all the magical aspects were just good effects and tricks (or were they?!?!?!?!), but it didn’t stop it looking incredible.

One minor flaw – they didn’t play the theme tune we all know and love. From my point of view, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not a stand-alone book, and there’s no reason (apart from cost) as to why they wouldn’t play the theme tune. It did give me a bit of a downer, but I hummed the theme tune all the way back home so I was okay.

All in all, the actors performed impeccably, and if you hum the Harry Potter theme tune to yourself beforehand or during the break, and get over the fact that the main characters are not the ones you know them to be, it’s utterly perfect.

Bookmark That. Playmark That? Either way, go and read/see this. This instalment is a genuine joy.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, RRP £20 (hardback); Book Depository 

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