No spoilers here!
I wanted to share my thoughts on the latest addition to the Harry Potter universe, which was greatly anticipated by people of all ages from all over the globe. After lying relatively dormant since the release of The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011 , the Harry Potter franchise and world has begun to grow again. As an avid HP fan I was more than a little excited to receive my copy (which my lovely boyfriend ordered for me for last Christmas) on Tuesday evening. I intended to make it stretch over a day or two but (inevitably, really) I was halfway through by the time dinner was ready and finished before the nine o’ clock news was over. No. Self. Restraint. It just grabbed my conscious attention and before I knew it I was completely absorbed into the world Rowling created so many years ago.
Before I start I want to say that I wasn’t sure what to expect, I had tried not to find out much about it (I’m a sucker for surprises). I knew it would be a different to the novels because it is a play, and I wasn’t sure how I would find reading that. I had read plays in school but it wouldn’t be a format I’d be familiar with anymore. I should say I found it as easy as the novels to read, and made for quick visualization.
So, the text opens at Platform 9 and 3/4, and the story begins where the final book finishes. The style of writing is like it was in the books and this familiarity makes the time-jump feel smooth and effortless. It being a play, there are set directions included such as where the characters are standing and when they enter and exit the stage. We are gently fed pieces of information by the characters, filling us in on their careers and positions, the personalities of the children and the relationships they share. I really enjoyed the ‘historic’* references throughout the text and felt like the connections were well established and blended seamlessly between the books and the play. Time-travel plays a huge role in the story and I find that normally time-travel leads to plot holes and confusion but in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child it is executed with precision (both in the story-line and the ‘historic’ references) and ease. I was taken along with the characters, understood their emotions and could empathize completely with nearly all of them. Like in the books, you form almost immediate bonds with various characters, and old ideas are re-established and developed, there is definitely a lot of nostalgia at play here. All the feels.
In terms of plot, this is very strong. Very direct but also some mystery and hidden clues that only come bursting into the limelight at the moment of revelation. This is exactly my kind of thing in both books and film. I love a good plot twist, especially if it’s being silently set up from the beginning. Sneaky sneaks.
Character development is substantial here too, of both the ‘old’ personalities and the new. We are shown very different versions of the famous trio in some of the time-jumps, however it remains believable and the importance of incidence is echoed throughout. We see how the smallest decision can alter a person or an entire world completely. It really is an extremely well thought out plot and it feels very much like a natural development and not a stand alone publication.
I think the use of various medium will work fantastically well for the HP empire, it opens up all kinds of paths of interpretation to its massive audience. I will 100% be going to see the play at some stage and I’m already looking forward to the next film installment (which I believe is more of a spin-off then a continuation) which will be released this coming November.
It has to be said that the Harry Potter world/ brand/ franchise, whatever you want to call it, is in two words; mind blowing. It’s deep complexities of plot, characters and background history are second to none and its extensive following is nothing short of phenomenal.
I expected to enjoy this text but I can tell you honestly, I loved it and I rate it 5 stars without a doubt.
I would highly recommend giving this a read if you’ve read all the novels and if you haven’t read the novels then I implore you to get on that, STAT.
As in right now.
Thanks for reading
Slán go fóill!
*when I say ‘historic’ I mean within the diegesis of the books i.e Harry, Ron and Hermione’s stories from Hogwarts.