Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

3/5 stars.  This review will contain spoilers, but I will let you know when spoilers are about to show up so you can stop reading!  Guys, this is really hard for me to say, so first I’ll say this, I grew up with Harry Potter and of course so did many of you.  I grew up reading the books, I was literally the same age as the actors and I watched them get older as I got older.  I’d dream of being on set of Harry Potter, that I would get cast as a role in the movies, that I’d be part of the magic.  I’d dream about my letter arriving by owl letting me know I was to attend Hogwarts.  Harry Potter holds a very special place in my heart, so to say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy and love this latest installment is as much a bummer to me as it probably to you reading this verdict.

Synopsis:

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

My Experience:

I couldn’t help but feel the whole time that this was a story that didn’t need to be told.  That the Deathly Hallows was the end and we could all rely on our own imaginations to fill what could have happened next and that this story wasn’t necessary.  Since this is a play and it isn’t written in a normal novel format I can see where many would feel it makes them feel disconnected.  I have never been more grateful for a college elective I took in my life until this point.  I took a theater arts class that had nothing to do with acting it was actually just about reading plays the entire time. So while plays are a bit more disconnected because technically you need to “see” the play to understand emotion from the actor and see the scenery, I was able to adjust to the format and pick up on emotions a bit easier.   Even still I felt so much disconnection with the characters, I found many of them to be unbelievable, including Harry Potter himself.  I felt it lacked the magic that is Harry Potter and to me thats a huge negative.

Let me talk about a few things I did enjoy though before I really get into my negatives.  I absolutely adored Scorpius.  I thought he was just about the cutest, funniest character.  I really enjoyed his and Albus’ friendship.  I think because they are new characters to us there was no pretense behind them, we had no expectations or already set voices in our heads for them.  So it was easier to accept who they were as characters because their was no previous books to base them off of.  I really enjoyed their scenes together and it makes me so happy a Malfoy and Potter became best buds.  I liked seeing old characters that had previously died in the books, be brought back in this for some scenes, due to the time travel element. The Snape scene gave me so many feels! I always enjoy getting to hear a few more things about those that have passed or from them if they are alive in some way whether in alternate universe or painting. I also enjoyed reading about where many of the characters ended up and how their lives turned out, this brought a lot of closure for some of the characters to me.Ok so here come spoilers…and negatives…

AVERT YOUR EYES IF YOU DONT WANT TO BE SPOILED, haha ok but really I gave you fair warning.

I don’t feel the play held many consistencies to the world we left at the end of Deathly Hallows.  For starters I could not believe Harrys character for the life of me.  Do I think he’d probably have issues as a dad, not everyone is perfect so of course, but the way he handles certain situations are just not like him.  To begin with I don’t think Harry would ever tell his son he wished his son weren’t his.  I know it came out wrong but I just don’t think he’d have even let it come out wrong to begin with.  Harry grew up without his dad so he knows more than anyone how special and important it is to have a dad there for their  kid and to just love and support them no matter what because you never know what could happen.  I also don’t believe even if it was in one of the time turning alternate universes that Harry would ever keep his son away from his best friend.  Harry knows how much it hurts to be alone, to feel he isn’t loved, or not having anyone to turn too.  Like heck Harry would say “ya you can’t see you only friend, sorry” mmm no sorry not believable.  Also how Harry talked to McGonagall would just never happen, he has way too much respect for her and no matter what alternate universe they are in, Harry would never talk down to anyone especially someone he looks up to and respects.  Then there are the issues of the other characters, Hermione was pretty much the same except for a few exceptions in how she was written in the alternate universes.  Ron felt like a character who was just thrown in there for comedic relief rather than any real importance, almost like he wasn’t needed but people would be upset if he wasn’t there so they stuck him in.  The golden trio did not feel like the golden trio.

Another big thing I didn’t agree with was the aspect of Voldemort having a child.  I don’t believe he was ever construed as a person who would ever have relations or would want a child.  He was much too evil and cared way to much about death and power and his own survival to have thought about that.  He only cared about himself and he didn’t know love. I’m not saying you need to love to have a kid, but it just doesn’t fit.  To me it doesn’t seem right.  Not only that but we are expected to believe that when the golden trio were at the Malfoy Manner and everything was going on in those parts that Bellatrix was pregnant, and no one noticed, and then as she’s about to have a kid fight at the Battle of Hogwarts..?

Lastly, just in general the whole plot line was rooted in time traveling.  I am personally just not a fan of stories that only have to do with time travel.  They become redundant and predictable.  I don’t think the reason behind the time travel was something that needed to be brought up or explored to begin with.

Seeing the play would probably make this a whole different experience and maybe far more magical.  But as it stands it read as a fan fiction and one that didn’t need to happen.  Personally, I will keep the Deathly Hallows as the true ending and my own imagination as to what happened with their families after the book ended as what happened rather than this story.

 

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