Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
What it is: an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
Play directed by: Jack Thorne
Some of my happiest childhood memories involve midnight releases of the Harry Potter books. My brothers, parents and I would all go to the book store together and, God bless them, my parents would have to buy four copies of every book since we refused to share. I dressed up as Hermione, Tonks, and Bellatrix for Halloween, a book release, and a movie premiere respectively (the latter earned me concerned looks from theater-goers). At one point, I developed a large, irrational crush on Harry. No, not Daniel Radcliffe. Book Harry. As I type this, I’m rocking a tank top with the Dark Mark on it. I grew up with J.K.Rowling and her beautiful, rich world. Honestly, those books helped shape the person I am today. So, yes, I’m a gigantic Harry Potter fan.
When I heard that there was a new play being written with a whole new story, I was apprehensive. “Harry’s story ended,” I thought, bitterly. “And who tf is Jack Thorne?!”
I felt weirdly protective of Harry Potter, as I’m sure a lot of fans did upon first hearing the news. However, when it was announced that the script would be released, I knew I’d get my grubby hands on it immediately like some sort of crazy person. I missed the excitement and adrenaline rush of starting a new book about the adventures of the Boy Who Lived.
Pardon my nostalgia, but that’s exactly what Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is: a book of memories. Old characters pop up in new and interesting ways, while new characters are introduced and immediately feel like old pals. However, what’s really awesome is that the book (or script, whatever you’d like to call it) doesn’t repeat roles we’ve seen before. Albus isn’t a carbon copy of Harry and Scorpius is nothing like Draco. Both young men have their own voices and we’re reminded of that as the story unfolds.
So! Spoiler free synopsis if you just read the names “Albus” and “Scorpius” and have no idea who I’m talking about. This tale, while inclusive of other plot points, mostly focuses on Albus Potter (Harry’s son) and his struggle to become his own man separate from his father. Scorpius (Draco’s son) is dealing with a similar predicament and the two develop an unexpected friendship. There’s a new threat to the wizarding world and all of the characters band together to defeat it.
One of the most interesting themes of the story is definitely “family”. We see Harry at his most vulnerable, trying desperately to connect with his son, a task that proves almost as difficult as beating Voldemort. Dumbledore once said, “Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young.” Harry and Albus don’t understand each other and, because of my love for Harry, I found myself getting frustrated with his wayward son often.
JUST GIVE HIM A BREAK, ALBUS, GAHD.
While Harry and Albus’s relationship is strained, others have only grown stronger in the past 19 years. Ron and Hermione made me say “relationship goals” out loud more than once. Let’s be honest, theirs is the most underrated love story of all time. When the two of them interact with Harry you’re reminded of the old days and all that the three of them have gone through. You feel like you’ve been friends with them your whole life, and some of us pretty much have.
Opinion: did someone slip Amortentia in my wine? Because I’m totally in love with this book. It’s fresh and new while also maintaining everything that drew fans to the series in the first place.
So, reader, if you’ve been on the fence about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, fear not: it is, dare I say it, magical.