Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

I’d seen this book in a bookshop last year but was put off reading a play as opposed to a novel. I also didn’t want the seven book Harry Potter series continued. I felt the story had concluded at the end of the Battle of Hogwarts followed by an epilogue of the adult Harry Hermione and Ron sending their kids off on the Hogwarts Express (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). At the time the author had promised she wouldn’t extend the story any further. Yet she did. I thought this sequel might ruin the story by dragging it out to death just to increase the franchise revenue. So it’s taken me some time to finally get around to downloading the book on Kindle and giving it a go.

The first thing I’d say is the play format is off-putting to read. The characters are shallow and the story moves with breakneck speed at the beginning. I’m sure this story is better performed with actors adding depth and emotions to the characters. The age of Harry in this story is 40. He was born in 1981. This story seems to be set in the present day but the numbers don’t add up, the story is actually set in 2021!

Harry has grown into a neglectful parent focused on his work, with a middle child Albus Severus Potter, the cursed child. It’s hard being a middle child and it’s harder being the child of a famous wizard. The child would always fall short of expectations. Everyone under-estimated Harry when he was a child. His fame coming from surviving a killing curse that killed his parents. He was a curiosity but no one expected him to be the saviour of the world.

Albus feels the bar is set very high, especially as his father is a high up Ministry official. Albus reacts badly and crumbles under the pressure and rebels by choosing to go to Slytherin house instead of Gryffindor at Hogwarts and befriending Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius. Albus tries to be a hero and that is where the problems begin. He travels back in time to save Cedric Diggory and he effectively undoes everything Harry did to save the world from Voldemort and recreates a dark parallel reality where Harry and his allies lose the Battle of Hogwarts and the world that follows is ruled by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Albus himself doesn’t exist in that reality, since Harry is dead.

This two-part play deal with the situation. Apparently the actual play runs over two days. Someone told me it was a good.

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