Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Play by: Jack Thorne
Based on on original story by J.K Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
I intentionally left Rowling out of my title, because Rowling was largely left out of the script. For something that bills itself as “the eighth story. Nineteen years later,” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reads more like fan fiction turned play than something crafted entirely by Rowling. Part of the issue is the fact it is NOT A NOVEL. I knew that when it was published. I wasn’t one of the disappointed readers who lost their wands over the play format. I knew what I was getting into. What I had suspected but didn’t know for sure until I read the play was that Harry Potter’s world is best viewed with Rowling’s words. The play is but bones of dialogue that desperately need to be fleshed out (and by Rowling) to fully join the Harry Potter canon.
There I said it.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a controversial topic among Potter-heads, muggle-born, and the magically inclined. And for good reason – it simply doesn’t fit and it’s lacking in the magic. Would this review be the same had I seen Noma Dumezweni breathe life into Hermione? Or if I had witnessed Anthony Boyle in one of the more interesting roles of the play? I honestly don’t think it would. Because there are glints of the magic within the script that would shine on stage. And oh how I want to see it. Because the magic of the play itself would allow me to move past parts of the plot that don’t mesh with the Hogwarts I love.
As for the plot, the idea that Albus would decide his mission in life was to save Cedric Diggory seems too much like holding on to the past, but that’s the idea: Harry cannot escape his past and neither can his children. Speaking of children, I don’t much mind that Voldemort had a child. The books imply a dark, sexual tension between him and Bellatrix. Delphi, whose name itself foreshadows the prophecies to come, is a curiosity. How did Potter not sense something dark when he was in the same room with He Who Must Not Be Named’s offspring? Had he gone soft since the Battle of Hogwarts?
And who is the cursed child? There are a few vying for the title.
Harry Potter AKA The Boy Who Lived
– He is forever scarred by his past and it truly marks everything he does and everyone he loves, Albus included
Albus Severus Potter
– Named for two great men and the child of the Boy Who Lived, he never asked to be a Potter. Expectations weigh too heavily on him. He is lonely. (I was horribly disappointed in how his siblings failed to assist him – the Weasleys were a lovingly, large family where siblings looked out for each other – why didn’t James, Albus and Lily have that connection?)
– The Son of a Death Eater who is, in many ways, a male version of Hermione. A lonely boy, he buries his mother early in the script. He is nothing like Draco, much like Albus is nothing like Harry.
– Daughter of Bellatrix and Voldemort. Her father was the Dark Lord she’d never meet (without the aid of some dark and rightly banned magic) and her mother was crazy and locked up for eternity. She was raised by Death Eaters who didn’t care for her. An orphan, her search for answers and family love & approval mirrors that of Harry’s so many years ago. My money is on her. Harry has love. Albus has love. Scorpius has love. There is no one to love Delphi. There is no father to tell her he’s proud. No mother to appreciate the strength of her talents. She is truly the cursed one.
Also, what to make of the fact Rowling ended book seven with “All was well” when things are so very, very, very far from “well” in the Cursed Child.
Crossposted on The Barking Bitch