Harry Potter has been, and probably always will be, a huge part of my life. I grew up with the books and I have been absorbed in the wizarding world since I was seven years old. When each new book was released I was one of those crazy people queuing up outside at 12am, eager to read the next part of Harry’s life at Hogwarts. When the films were released I was just as keen and would become giddy with excitement at the thought of seeing the books come to life at the cinema. When the seventh book came out and I read the last few chapters, I felt a sudden dread that I would never get this feeling of excitement about Harry Potter again.
The void was filled sightly at the thought that there were still a few more films to be made but, for me, the excitement was (and always will remain) with the books. I am a huge fan of the films but, for me, the books hold so much more and mean so much more to me. When I finished reading The Deathly Hallows, I truly felt as though it marked the end of my childhood. I was a month away from turning 16 and starting my second year of GCSEs, and so the summer The Deathly Hallows was released felt like my last summer of being a kid, and the beginning of a new chapter.
As much of a preamble this may seem, I feel it was necessary to write as it intensifies my excitement for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child being released. I suddenly felt as though I was a little kid again when I queued up in Waterstones to pre-order my copy. When I picked it up on the day of release I was so giddy with excitement and I couldn’t wait to read it and find out what happened to Harry and the others after all of these years.
I was a little reserved at the fact that it was a screenplay rather than a narrative. None the less, there was no chance I was not reading this book from cover to cover – and boy was it a page turner.
“The eighth story nineteen years later…
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an over worked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and a father of three school-age children.
Whilst Harry grapples with the 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 story begins at Platform 9 and 3/4, when the last book finished, nineteen years after the destruction of Voldemort. The Cursed Child follows Harry and Ginny’s youngest son Albus and his struggles at Hogwarts with his best friend Scorpius Malfoy, Draco’s son. In an attempt to prove his father wrong, Albus and Scorpius go on a wild adventure in an attempt to change the past, but in doing so cause complete havoc which they must rectify. In true Harry Potter style, the story is based on the importance of love and friendship, and has a strong message that darkness can always be overcome by the light.
Unlike the previous Harry Potter books, whereby most scenes revolve around Harry, much of the book is based on a lot of the other characters, therefore as a reader you are more aware of the story as a whole, rather than just seeing everything from Harry’s point of view. The plot is very fast-paced with lots of small scenes, which I suppose works better on stage than in a book. I did find myself, in parts, wishing that there was narrative to provide more information and expand on ideas. However, the script is very well-written and, considering that it’s all dialogue-based with a few stage directions, I found myself truly escaping into the wizarding world and imagining all of the scenes.
Although it wasn’t exactly the same as the other Harry Potter books, I loved finding out what happened to everyone years after the last book. I would love to be able to go to watch the stage production, which is now showing for the foreseeable future in London – I think it would be amazing to see it on stage!
Images via Madolyn Blackburn