I was a very good boy last year. I was duly rewarded for my good behaviour at Christmas time when I found, at the very bottom of my stocking, Santa Claus had left me a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part One and Two (released in 2015). Unlike most books that I find in my possession it didn’t take much time at all to start and finish this. It’s not packaged with the usual fancy illustrated cover so it definitely has the feel of a more grown up book than it’s predecessors (it is for the theatre-goers after all) but it also has the feel of a script, as that is exactly what it is. The font-type and design looks almost temporary as if we have an early draft and it was produced in Microsoft Word – maybe that was a conscious effort to make the reader more aware that this should not be treated like one of the 7 but more like an added extra almost. Anyway, beneath the cover and delving into the content, if it were solely a novel I would probably think the story is a cash-in on the huge success of the franchise because there are some very familiar themes but not everything is quite in the same order. But as this is the published script of a play they have license to get away with some over-indulgence, revisiting the old stories. As you may already know this is the story of the children of our original heroes and as we learnt with Harry, many of the personality traits of these new stars exist due to the influence of their parents no matter how good or bad that makes them feel about the situation.
Just cast a spell, Dad, and change me into what you want me to be, okay? It’ll work better for both of us.” Albus Potter
SPOILER ALERT: there is some time-travel at play here as the characters head back to when their parents were young and fighting against all of the evil in the world. But who doesn’t want to be taken back to the original story? Hell, they are still best-sellers and the movies still get played around the clock commanding decent viewing figures. And what is particularly interesting is to explore how things could have turned out differently with a slight alter to the original proceedings…
“I shouldn’t have survived – it was my destiny to die – even Dumbledore thought so – and yet I lived.” Harry Potter
It comes with the usual J.K. Rowling twists and excitement, a rich reminder of how important good friends and family bonds are and the rousing moments of fulfilling prophecies as with the previous 7 stories. It’s clear from the over-whelming reaction from audiences and fellow readers of this printed scripture that it is pleasing to the masses of Harry Potter fans. I’d be interested to know how it is received by somebody who isn’t a superfan but I’m not in a position to alter my own personal history so all I can say is that I loved it. And if you’ve read this review up to this point, you certainly will do too.