I was fully prepared to hate J.K. Rowling’s new venture into the world of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – her new West End Play and published script. I ranted against it for a good two weeks after the script was released and I finally decided to give it a go. In fact, I was so enraged that almost didn’t read it at all.
Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood and, to be honest, it was one of the best parts. I loved the books, I loved the movies, I loved it all. My first celebrity crush was on Daniel Radcliffe, for heaven’s sake. It’s dicey to mess with that kind of love and try to introduce something new onto the scene.
Things got even dicier when I saw that Rowling, one my literary heroes, had chosen to co-write the play. This, I have to admit, made my blood boil. How could she hand over the characters that I knew and loved to someone else? How could she allow anyone access to their voices in a manner other than on fan fiction site?
I don’t think it was just me who felt that way. I get the sense that the Harry Potter generation feel that Harry Potter is theirs now and they don’t want their world messed with or changed. J.K. Rowling actually had some serious guts to bring Harry Potter back. And I knew that if I was really committed to hating her new work that I would actually have to read it and know for a fact that she had ruined Harry Potter once and for all.
The problem was, I loved it. I loved every second of it. I read the entire script in an afternoon and didn’t once put it down.
I won’t give away anything about the plot (which managed to surprise and grip me throughout) but I will say that Rowling has worked her magic once again (pardon the pun) and brought Hogwarts and the wizarding world back to life but with a new cast of leading characters. All of your old favorites are still there but the focus is squarely placed on their children and the new generation of wizards interacting with the old. Enough of Harry, Ron and Hermione is in there to give the reader closure that they turned out all right but, ultimately, it is the new characters that steal the show. I have a particular soft spot for Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius. The world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter has been brought back and remade all at once.
The only caution I will give, if you haven’t already read it, is to remember that you are reading a script. It is not a book. It isn’t supposed to flow like a book. You have to imagine it as a play, unless you’re one of the people lucky enough to see the actual play in the West End. There were a few times when I was ready to criticize but I realized that, on stage, it’s really going to work when the visual effects will provide the immersive quality of the first seven books.
Read it. It is so worth it for anyone who grew up as a Harry Potter fan.