This is my review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling. Well, the script at least, I haven’t had the good fortune of seeing the play live yet. Someday…
I’ll start off with a spoiler-free review first:
This is a next-gen story, focusing on Harry & Ginny’s youngest son, Albus Severus Potter. If you recall, the epilogue of Deathly Hallows saw young Albus was worrying that he’d be sorted into Slytherin. Well, he is! This, of course, is not a good thing to happen in the Potter-Weasley clan. Cue family drama and rebellious escapades.
What I found exceptionally interesting was the short length and lack of narrative. Instead of a ginormous 900-page tome, we get a one hour long script. Dumbledore can no longer ‘twinkle wisely’; for a writer like JKR, who relies on the generous use of adverbs (sometimes entirely too many!), this had to have been a huge limitation. The result is a deftly paced self-contained plot, with much more prosaic themes.
She can’t resist her usual comedy though, and we get some entertaining lines from Ron and Scorpius Malfoy. In all, this would make for a very interesting TV show. The relationship between Harry and Albus is realistic and (luckily) free of the overdone teenage angst that made The Order of the Phoenix such a drag.
Funnily enough, JKR has stuck to many plot points that are widely accepted amongst the fanfiction community- thus making them canon!
I’d give this a 4.5/5, because it is a bite-size chunk of nostalgia with a satisfying plot.
Now for some minor spoilers:
Once again, an important theme is that one’s choices are more important than anything else. Albus and Scorpius are Slytherins, and they’re undoubtedly the heroes of the story.
There is a generous amount of time travel in the story, enough to remind me of the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey approach of Doctor Who. Some of the jumps are not very convincingly explained, but, hey, it’s fantasy.
Another shoutout to fan fiction is the Scorpius+Rose pairing that is much beloved by the HPFF community.