Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
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.
The eighth Harry-Potter-Adventure. I never really thought that this could happen, but it’s the secret dream of millions of fans around the world becoming true. I wanted to read something about Harry’s children since the last chapter of the Deadly Hallows and now here it is: A glooming, wonderful piece of my childhood.
And I enjoyed it from the very first line. Okay, to be honest, in the beginning it was a little weird to read a theatre script instead of a full novel and I really missed JKR’s detailed descriptions sometimes, but when I reached the second act, I had already gotten used to it.
I loved getting to know a bunch of new characters, Scorpius Malfoy is just one example, and I enjoyed even more to rediscover my childhood friends, like Ginny and Harry or the half-forgotten characters of Amos and Cedric Diggory. Before starting to read this book, I heard a lot of rumors about characters that have changed a lot or act incoherently. But actual, I can’t really subscribe to this. Yeah, some characters like Harry and Ginny and Professor McGonagall changed a bit, but to me that seemed perfectly natural. I mean did you really expect them to act exactly the same as they acted when they were barely grown-up teenagers? Twenty years later? I did not.
But I also loved the fact that some of them just did not change at all. So I could still laugh about Ron’s jokes, still hate Dolores Umbridge, still ponder about Dumbledore’s ambiguity. And sometimes, yes, I would have loved some characters to change, especially Harry, who seemingly is still not over being the Boy Who Lives and starts crying about it in the most inappropriate moments. Oh Dumbledore, I could have slapped him for that!
Of course, I also missed some characters. I felt terribly bad for Harry’s older son James getting so little attention throughout the book. I would really get to know him better, just like I want to get to know Harry’s daughter Lilly, Scorpius’ mom or Hermione’s and Ron’s children Rose and Hugo (By the way: What kind of parent are you to call your son Hugo?). I also would have liked the opportunity to spend some time with the rest of the Weasleys, with Neville or Professor Trelawney. But I was cheered up by Snape, Hagrid and Draco Malfoy. So, the plot twist with the alternative realities was a really nice idea.
I would also have liked to spend some more time at Hogwarts, to see how it changed with Professor McGonagall as the headmistress. It was a pity that we only rushed through Albus’ sorting ceremony and his first years at Hogwarts, but I also do understand that you can’t write a theatre piece that lasts twelve hours (even if I would have enjoyed that).
So the plot focuses very much about Albus and Scorpius trying to change history by going back and trying to save “The spare” Cedric Diggory. Of course they create a mess. And of course the Golden Trio comes to rescue them. A little predictable, if you asked me. But there were also a lot of plot twists I did not expect and I really had to hold on myself not to finish the whole book in one night. There were some scenes that were pretty much rushed through, but I think that is owned to the timely restrictions of a theatre production. Maybe someday we will get to read the whole original story, this play is based on. I’ll wait for that day.
Oh, talking about the restrictions of theatre: It was a real pity that my edition (even though it is called “Special Rehearsal Edition Script”) did not contain any pictures or drafts of the stage, the costumes or the actors. Of course I am able to imagine all that (also because I’ve seen all the HP-Movies), but it would have been nice to have a glimpse of how all the special effects would work out on stage.
So, that’s pretty much my opinion. However, I left the best part for the end: I really enjoyed Scorpius’ and Albus’ friendship and I couldn’t help hoping that someday that would turn into Something A Bit More. I mean, they hug pretty often, don’t they? But as I see it, the storyline about the younger generation has a lot of potential and as we know JKR, I’m rather sure, this will not be the last time, we have read about this two. So, I won’t give up the hope that someday non-heteronormative thinking will pass through the barrier of Platform Nine and Three-Quarters and enter the Wizarding World. In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to the movie adaption of “Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them”.