Bookreview: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child is the long-awaited follow-up to the
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
We meet Harry, Ron, Hermione and their kids at the platform 9 ¾ where we saw them in the last book of the Harry Potter series. During this play, we follow the sons of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy respectively. The two boys lives intertwine and when the plot unfolds, it will test both them and their parents. I shall refrain from spoiling the actual plot, for those of you who have yet to read it. #Keepthesecrets
First of all – this is a play, not a book – I cannot stress this point enough. Do not read it, expecting an eighth book in the Harry Potter series. Read it as you might read “Advanced Potions” or “Tales of Beedle the Bard”. This is simply a work of fiction that belongs in the same universe, nothing more or less. It will not serve you the same reading experience, if you keep reading it like a book, when it isn’t written as such. You don’t read poetry and news in the same way, so please remember to read the text on its own terms.
With that said, here comes my verdict. Shortly, I think this is a somewhat well-constructed piece of popular fanfiction, cannoned by J.K. Rowling. It will work well as a play or even a musical, had it any songs, I’m sure. I can’t wait to go to London to see for myself, how they will unravel this plot before me, I’m definitely hoping for a spinning stage. [Edit: I just found out there is in fact a spinning stage. #Calledit]
The plot itself is thin at best, but at least it keeps the characters occupied and we get to see them like we might have wanted to – except the characters are becoming a mock-up of themselves. A mock-up that I am begging for the actors of the real-life play, to fill out, it’s actually awkward, so terribly written the main characters are. Even for a play, they lack dimension. The play itself reminds me of the lightness of a well-constructed musical – easy to comprehend, even if you’re not already familiar with the plot.
This is not a great piece of art, in itself, but I can see the potential it has for the stage and I for one can appreciate what a good director and a great crew and cast, can do to a mediocre script, that doesn’t convince half the fandom it’s catering to.
The plot has been greatly debated within the Harry Potter fandom community and I agree with those, who do not buy into the plot twist that shall not be named. I think those who read it, will know what I am here referring to, and it simply does not align with the original plotline of the Harry Potter series.
All in all, I enjoyed reading it, despite feeling disappointed in terms of how some familiar characters are portrayed. I enjoyed the seemingly light tone, despite the plot wanting to be dark and having a deeper message. I enjoyed reading a play and seeing other people reading it too, but that’s probably because I read a lot of scripts any way within my profession as a Dramaturge.
I’m a Potterhead, so I can’t say it was entirely awful or fantastic, but I can say that it was fun reading it and I think it’s very suitable for those who haven’t yet any of the books at all. The rest of us, need to remember to take it for what it is. Which is a well-constructed play of fan fiction.