Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

I said I’ve been reading a well known series – and that’s what will be the focus of the next few posts.  However, I shall start with the newest:

Book 27 – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. This is a rehearsal script for Jack Thorne’s new play and as it’s very new I will try not to spoil it!

This story starts 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry is a father and works at the Ministry of Magic, and his second child Albus, is about to start his own education at the school.

With the pressure of his name, and an unexpected Sorting, Albus find life complicated and lonely. As time passes and his relationship with his father becomes more and more difficult, and he feels increasingly isolated.  Finally, with his best friend Scorpius – someone whose heritage is as complicated as his own – Albus makes a plan that will change things for everyone…

To confirm: it is a script, I knew it was a script, and I didn’t mind that at all. Also, I am discussing what was on the page only, as I have not seen the play.

Scripts allow you to use your imagination in a different way from novels and that’s quite fun, because you get to define the extent of things – how big is an explosion, what does the inside of a building look like and so on.

What is does mean, though, is that the inner dialogue which is a key part of the 7 books is non-existent. Everything is visible, or in the imagination of the reader. This makes it a very different beast to the previous Potter stories.

The other difference is that Harry is an adult now; we are not really following his story so much as the ramifications of his story. That gives us a chance to see the fallout of the past in a way I found quite satisfying – I was hugely irritated by the ’19 years later’ chapter of the last book but since reading the script I feel much less negative about it.

It’s hard to say much more without a huge spoiler and I think it’s better to read this without knowing it. It’s one of those stories where everything works best when it is revealed at the right time.  My advice is not to read spoiler reviews if you can help it (be aware I link to goodreads which often has spoilers in the reviews).

This isn’t a literary work so can’t really be reviewed as such, but it was an enjoyable and engrossing story.  It took me about 2 hours so isn’t very onerous – people have read it faster, but there’s no need; it’s fun to read the stage directions and spend a few minutes imagining what is happening on stage!

You definitely need knowledge of Harry Potter’s world to understand the links between elements so this isn’t one for people who haven’t read the previous books/seen the films.

If you do read it, it’s probably best to read it as a separate entity rather than as the eighth story: it is after all a visual piece which has a profound impact on the possibilities and the choices made. Plus, the story may be Rowling’s but the stage play isn’t, so there are multiple influences affecting the work.

Happy reading,

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