Posted in Reviews

“Love is blind”: Thoughts on ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.’

I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two today and I am half-stunned, half-sad.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Cursed_Child_Special_Rehearsal_Edition_Book_Cover
Image courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

Looking at the book, you think it will take a while to finish, at least two days, but you forget: plays are easy to read (I’ve acted a lot in my time, I’m used to the set-up and I whizz through them) and this is Harry Potter (of course, you’re going to read it all in one sitting). I’m truly gutted that I have already finished reading it so I think I may have to flick back to Page One and start again, as is tradition with me and Harry Potter.

I was anxious to read this play because I have tickets booked to see both parts in November and I worried that I would ruin it for myself if I went in already knowing what is going to happen. I then had a bit of a brain-wave: isn’t that what happened when I saw the films? I had already read the books and knew exactly what I was expecting and it never ruined the magic (some pun intended) of the story for me.

I also received a tweet from a kind stranger after I expressed my concerns online telling me that she had already seen the play and was 100% confident that it would not be ruined for me should I read the script first.

I took her advice and planned to buy it with a gift card I had received at graduation for Blackwell’s but when it was half price in Waterstone’s today, I had to snatch it up. I’ve had a pretty awful week, if I’m honest, and a bit of Harry Potter is always a sure-fire way to improve my mood.

I will keep the spoilers to myself for this post since this is merely a brief word on my initial thoughts of the play. I will attempt an actual review of the book tomorrow with some spoilers for those of you who have seen or read the play already.

From the get-go, everything about Cursed Child was surprising.

I knew the premise of this story, as I’m sure we all did, but the route the story took was one of the most unexpected plots I have ever experienced. There is nothing predictable about Cursed Child and that is a true testament to the talents of Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and our beloved J.K. Rowling in today’s day and age of the most predictable plot twists of all time (I’m talking to you Gone Girl).

I read books and watch shows and films these days that are simply relics of thousands of stories already told. Cursed Child is nothing like that.

It is spectacular in the way it creates a whole new world out of something already so dearly loved by so many way and yet it encapsulates the heart of the Harry Potter series perfectly.

From the dialogue to the overwhelming emotion, everything about Cursed Child screams Harry Potter and yet, none of it does. It is beautifully its own story and its own world. The characters are their own characters and not merely replicas of their previous stories. Yet, they are so recognisable and familiar. I know this sounds confusing. I am trying to explain how wonderfully this story has been told and how well this play stands out as its own work of fiction.

It is not a story that leans on its predecessor. It is a stand-alone tale that captures the hearts of its readers with its intelligent use of humour, emotion and darkness. Cursed Child has everything you could want in a tale and is the perfect way to end the written works of the Harry Potter franchise.

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