Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: John Tiffany and Jack Thorn
Based on: Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Genre: Play, Fantasy
Note: Nonspoiler review first. When you see a spoilers break, everything after is a spoiler until “End of Spoilers”.
While I reading this play, I had two, and only two emotions:
I’m sorry but I actually cannot take this script seriously, much less take it as the CANON 8th story of the Harry Potter saga. First of all, this is fanfiction. Put it any way you like, that JK Rowling approved of it or that JK Rowling had a hand in it or whatever but bottom line is she did. not. write this script which by definition makes it fanfiction. But the worst part is that it felt like reading a fanfiction. It didn’t feel like Harry Potter. Let me break this down.
Not using the play format to its fullest potential.
I’ve read a lot of positive reviews stating that you won’t get a lot of worldbuilding and character development because it’s a play and I should forgive that because it’s a play. No. I’ve read plenty of plays that manage to build a believable world while also developing really nuanced characters. But here, gone are the magical and inviting descriptions of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Gone the adventure and fun and curiosity of the wizarding world. Instead I get some really awkward stage direction like:
“He meets her look. There’s real emotion in this room.”
“Relief floods out of him.”
and even more awkward dialogue which includes one-liners that are meant to be meaningful but just fall flat.
No. I won’t let you do this . . .
If anything, why couldn’t JK Rowling have just written an 8th book and adapted it into a play?
The ridiculous plot
I can’t really go into it without giving spoilers but it’s ridiculous because it brings so much plot from the previous Harry Potter books and tries to make it relevant like 20 years after it actually happened. You know what I would have done if I was craving previous Harry Potter books? Oh that’s right, I would just reread them. It was completely and utterly pointless. This is where it feels most like fanfiction because fanfiction writers love to think about the possibility of different alternate situations that a book could have played out. Like what if Hermione didn’t marry Ron?and blah blah. This play felt like that. Instead of being a cohesive plot, it just randomly tried to incorporate some events for shock points and nostalgia. Like hey, remember when this sad/happy scene that happened in Goblet of Fire? Here it is again, but in play format! Feel sad!
Who are Harry, Ron, and Hermione again?
Harry, Ron, Hermione in Cursed Child felt like mere shells of themselves. Ron is reduced to being the comedic relief, stopping by some scenes to say some meant-to-be funny jokes. I did not see any of Hermione’s know-it-all intelligence and need to always fill in with an answer. Ginny was just there to be Harry’s wife. Rose Granger-Weasley was there to idk, remind us that Ron and Hermione had a kid? and then disappeared for the rest of the play. Where is Teddy Lupin? Dead, for all I know. Snape (yes he appears) says some uncharacteristically nice things. Harry is..not Harry..And I get it, people grow up and they change but really? to the point where I don’t even recognize them?
Inconsistencies and Inaccuracies
This play deals a lot with Time-Turners and they were so inaccurate and inconsistent plotholes that didn’t make any sense. Transfiguration inaccuracies. Character inconsistencies. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
I gave it a 2 stars because the themes had such potential! The play explores Albus’s relationship with his dad, Harry Potter and what it is like being the son of a celebrity. I liked the continued exploration of Albus and his fear of being sorted into Slytherin and his friendship with Scorpius. Imagine Harry Potter and Draco, archnemeses have sons who are best friends. But none of it had really any depth for me to feel really invested.
I understand that I have not seen this play yet and a play is meant to be performed but half of the play is the script and a bad script really hinders a performance no matter how good the actors or set designs are.
At this point, the continuation of the Harry Potter series needs to stop. I understand the need for more, I really do. But there’s just too much.. It just doesn’t feel magical anymore. They feel like blatant cash grabs. I’m happy where HP left off and I hope that my imagination can fill in the rest.
SPOILERS AFTER THIS BREAK
Really?? Voldemort had a daughter?? That’s literally the topic of like half of HP fanfics. I hate the I-am-your-father or familial tie trope soooo much. Because it is such a cheap way to create drama and shock. And it wasn’t even done well like in Star Wars. And Voldemort and Bellatrix?? So you’re telling me that somewhere between taking over the world, Voldemort and Bellatrix somehow had sex?? And how convenient since Bellatrix was literally one of the only female Death Eaters we really meet. Honestly that is just an insult to Bellatrix.
Also, am I really suppose to believe that CEDRIC DIGGORY out of all people becomes a Death Eater??? That’s even more unbelievable than Voldemort and Bellatrix. And the reasoning is so stupid too. He gets humiliated and suddenly he wants to be a Death Eater. Really?
Also, Severus actually says
Tell Albus Severus–I’m proud he carries my name.
??????!!! That’s hilarious. Did you literally forget who Snape is?? He hated Harry. Why would he be proud his son carries his name??
I do not believe that Harry would ever say to Albus to not be friends with Scorpius. Harry Potter should be, out of all people, the one to understand how important friendship is and the importance of being able to choose who your friends are.
I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the queerbaiting in this book and how there were so many hints as to Albus and Severus liking each other more but they turned out to just be friends? Idk how I feel about that because Scorpius liked Rose from the beginning I feel but I can see how some people would feel that way because there were some “you’re the only one who understands me” type thing.
I didn’t notice it the first time but people were also saying how it’s bs how Hermione becomes a bitter old spinster if she didn’t marry Ron. Idk how I feel about that because on the one hand it feeds into this stereotype that women who do not marry and become children become pitiful spinsters who are mean but then it wasn’t like Ron turned out great either. He’s kind of a mess at this point. But the reasoning for why he married Padma was so flimsy. So just because he didn’t ask Hermione to the Yule Ball, he ended up marrying Padma..ok..But then now that I think about it is so out of Hermione’s character to just give up on life if she didn’t have Ron..ugh.
I thought you couldn’t let anyone see you if you were using a Time-Turner but Cedric saw Scorpius? Hermione also saw Albus and Severus when they were using the Time Turner for the first time during the Triwizard Tournament.
END OF SPOILERS
Let me know what you thought of HP and the Cursed Child! Did it live up to your expectations? Did you love it? Hate it? What do you think of the continuation of the Harry Potter canon? If you want to talk spoilers, just put spoilers in your comments and let’s talk =)