Literature / Personal Opinion

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One and Two)

Having been a HUGE Harry Potter fan throughout my teenage years and into my Peter Pan-like adult life, I was eager to order this play upon its release.

Prior to reading the text, I had my reservations: was a new Harry Potter story, set 20 years following the initial magic, after all of the many clever puzzles Rowling had crafted were solved, in the form of a transcript, EVER going to live up to what I had so thoroughly loved as a youth?

If I am honest, the answer was no – it was not the same. Initially, I felt as though the transcript lacked the magic of Rowling’s descriptive detail in the original collection due to the constraints of the text type. For years I was enchanted by her description of the setting of Hogwarts and elsewhere, and her narration of the action within the stories. However, as I read on, the play became increasingly enthralling, as Rowling’s prowess was clearly entwined within the dialogue and the clever use of stage directions.

The plot itself is entirely different to what I had imagined, though present within it were the Rowling-esque twists and turns that we have grown to love and expect. The events of the play were cleverly pieced together, and there were moments when I let out an audible gasp (which is not something that happens very often).

Admittedly, there were parts of Harry’s adult character that I did not enjoy, and I did not like to think of adult Harry, Ron and Hermione as the same characters as those we grew up with. However, by adopting this alternative viewpoint, I was able to enjoy the plot away from the original collection. Having said this, the stories will have to have been read prior to the viewing/reading of the play for full appreciation, understanding and enjoyment – particularly Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

For all Harry Potter fans – and those who enjoy an easy-yet-enthralling read – I would wholeheartedly recommend this play, and look forward to hopefully seeing it on stage in action.