I just finished reading The Cursed Child, the newest addition in the Harry Potter family. It’s actually not a book, but the lines and staging directions of the play that premiered in the Palace Theatre in London on June 7th for previews and for the big public on July 30th 2016. If you are planning on going to see it, check out this website for more information and to book tickets. The play was written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, with the help of and based on an original new story by J. K. Rowling herself. The rehearsal script was released on July 31st and became the eight story in the Harry Potter universe. So this is not a novelisation of the play, but the actual lines of the play itself. But don’t worry: it is written in the same Rowling-style we all know and love, and after a chapter or two you are already used to the dialogue and stage directions and it will read like a train!
The story is set 19 years after the end of the 7th book, and is about both Harry, struggling as an overworked employee, and his second son Albus who is having a hard time at school. The play itself is presented in two Parts, which are supposed to be seen in order on the same day, either in the late morning and evening, or on two consecutive evenings. The book therefore is also made up of two Parts and each Part consists of two Acts. In October 2015, the play’s official synopsis was made known:
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!
Time for a bit more background! It was revealed in December 2013, that people had been working on a stage play based on harry Potter for a year, and that it would be put on stage in 2016. Rowling said that the play would “expose the previously untold story of Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast.” In June 2015, the play was officially confirmed under the name of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the world premiere was set for mid-2015 in London. In September 2015, Rowling announced that the play had been split into two parts, designed to be viewed together. And a month later, in October 2015, it was confirmed that the play would not be set in Harry’s past as announced before, but that it would in fact take place 19 years after the end of book 7.
Now, I am not going to dive into the entire plot of the story like I usually do in my reviews. I want to give each and every one of you the chance to read the play for yourself, and discover the magical adventures Harry and his family will have. I will, however, set the scene a little bit. So, if you are planning on reading it and don’t want any spoilers whatsoever, LOOK AWAY now!
So, Harry is head of the Magical Law Enforcement department, which means he is the head Auror at the Ministry of Magic. His wife, Ginny, is the sports reporter for the Daily Prophet, and they have three children: James Sirius, Albus Severus and Lily Luna. Hermione, the Minister for Magic and Ron, who now owns Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, are also married with two children: Rose and Hugo Granger-Weasley. And then there’s Draco Malfoy and his son Scorpius who have a role to play as well. Here’s a photo of the most important cast members.
Do you remember the epilogue-scene where we find Harry and his friends on Platform 9 3/4, saying goodbye to their children as they board the Hogwarts Express? That is exactly where this play takes off again. Harry is reassuring his son Albus who will be a first-year, that being sorted into Slytherin is no problem whatsoever and that they will still be proud of him. On the train, Albus meets Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son, and when both boys are sorted into Slytherin, they become fast friends. Over the next three years, Albus and Scorpius are both shown to be unpopular students who only have each other at Hogwarts, and the relationship between Harry and his son Albus gets strained. That summer, Albus overhears Harry talking to Amos (Cedric Diggory’s father) about a powerful Time-Turner, that Amos wants Harry to use to save his son. Harry refuses for fear of meddling in the past and messing up their present. Albus overhears this, and decides that he and Scorpius will steal the Time-Turner and use it to save Cedric Diggory. And this is where the story unfolds. Albus and Scorpius manage to go back in the past and Harry and his friends (including Draco Malfoy) go after them to save them. And that is all I will say. The rest you will need to read for yourselves!
Suffice it to say that it is an amazing story! Not only do we see Harry and his friends as adults and their children at Hogwarts, but we also re-meet a whole slew of our favourite characters, including: Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottem, Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore and even … Snape and Umbridge! Through memories and flashbacks, we learn more about Harry’s past, and we are even transported back to the beginning of it all. I loved, loved, loved the book! We learn so much more about Harry Potter’s world, and as an adult we still clearly see the dynamic between him, Hermione and Ron that we have always seen since the beginning. I had to stop several times while I was reading just to appreciate the awesomeness of it all. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, READ THIS BOOK! I really can’t say anything more.
Have you already read The Cursed Child? If you haven’t, go order it right now and come back to let me know what you thought! If you have you read it already, what did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!