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.
First of all, let’s start by saying J.K. Rowling is NOT the author of this play. I knew this when I went in and because of that, I was able to rate this on it’s merit of being basically a fanfiction for the series.
Now to the play…
The play was okay and as a fan of Harry Potter, I think I would have enjoyed watching this unfold on a real stage. The truth is, plays don’t express as much emotion and thought into their storyline, so it doesn’t allow you to really connect or get drawn in. However, it was interesting to see Harry and his friends life after Voldemort. I’ll admit, I’m still a bit skeptical about their jobs, especially Hermoine’s since she’s still so young. I mean, Minister of Magic? Really? The truth is, I don’t think the Hermoine from the series wanted to lead the wizarding world. I got the sense that her interest lay more in building more acceptance and equal opportunities for those who were muggle-born witches/wizards. Another job that confused me was Ron’s. In fact, his portrayal was so over the top, that I thought George had used polyjuice to fool everyone.
The true stars of this play are Harry’s son, Albus and Draco’s son, Scorpius. I felt it was nice to see a Potter in the Slytherin house and to be honest, Scorpius seemed like such a genuine person, that it’s hard to see him as a Malfoy. Albus wasn’t exactly the most likeable character, but he had a depth to him that left me wondering why he assumed Harry didn’t see him or what Harry didn’t see in him. Their pursuit to save someone who was killed during Harry’s time at Hogwarts, leads them down a path full of butterflies. For those of you who don’t get the reference, I’m referring to their interference having a rippling effect throughout time. Regardless of the trouble they find themselves in, their camaraderie is refreshing and I found that I wish Rowling would write about Albus and his time in Hogwarts.
As a fanfiction, this is a strong story and it was nice to meet new characters as well as to visit with old friends who were lost along the way. I would highly recommend this, but only with the caution that this is NOT WRITTEN BY J.K. ROWLING. Knowing this helped me to enjoy the story, because as a fan of the series, I would have been far less accepting of the slips or changes in personalities if she had. Either way, it was a joy to return to the world of Harry Potter and I can’t wait to see what comes next.