Friday, August 5, 2016

Script Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Series: Harry Potter
Authors: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: July 31, 2016
Source: Purchased

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.

My Review

Not too long ago, a lonely girl named Erin discovered the story of The Boy Who Lived, and her love for the characters and the stories in each book inspired her to become a better reader, a better person, and a better teacher. Since then, she's eagerly awaited more from J.K. Rowling, and her wishes finally came true when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was announced.

Nineteen years after The Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter is a middle-aged husband and father of three children, and apparently not all is well in his life. He's stressed out due to his job, and then on top of that, he's struggling to understand his youngest son, Albus. The two constantly clash, and the Potter home isn't the friendliest to either of these two characters.

I'm going to make this review short and sweet. Honestly, I really wanted to read this script because I was more than a little curious to see what's going on in Harry's adulthood. I went into it knowing that it would be nothing like the books, and I accepted that. In fact, I was excited about it. I also thought it would be interesting to read about a world I love from another medium - the script. Plus, I was more than a little curious to see how other writers would influence the stories and characters that I have come to love.

That being said, I thought that the script itself was pretty good. Was it, in my opinion, perfect? Absolutely not. Would I have loved more of the dialogue that readers found themselves reading in the original seven books? Yes, but I also realize that so much detail and dialogue had to be packed into a certain amount of time.

However, I loved being able to see all of my favorite characters as adults. They've aged a bit. They've changed a bit, but at the end of the day, they are still Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. They make some mistakes in this play, and some of them are rather questionable, but I found that they did learn from them.

Now... let's get to the newest characters. I cried my eyes out when I read the epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so being able to actually "meet" the Potters, the Granger-Weasleys, and even the Malfoy heir is something that I'll probably cherish for the rest of my life. I liked being able to see bits and pieces of their parents in them, but I also really enjoyed how a few of these characters stood out as individuals. I can only hope that maybe J.K. Rowling will revisit this next generation and bring readers a new story to usher in a new generation of readers.

While I know there are a lot of critics out there, I'm glad to say that I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It was full of nostalgia and memories from the original books, but it's also a small reawakening. I would love to be able to see this on stage, and I can only hope and pray that Jo brings back the magic once again with new material.

J.K. Rowling is the author of the seven Harry Potter novels; three companion books originally published for charity; The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults; and, under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, the Cormoran Strike crime series. J.K. Rowling is making her screenwriting debut and is a producer on the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, due for release in November 2016.

Jack Thorne writes for theater, film, television, and radio. His theater credits include Hope and Let the Right One In, among many others. Film credits include War Book and The Scouting Books for Boys, and for TV, the BAFTA award-winning Don't Take My Baby, The Fades, and the This is England series. He is adapting Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy for the BBC.

John Tiffany has won multiple awards for his directing work, both in the West End and on Broadway. His work includes Once, The Glass Menagerie, Macbeth, The Bacchae, Let the Right One In, and Black Watch. He is an Associate Director  of the Royal Court , and was Associate Director of the National Theatre of Scotland from 2005 to 2012.

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