This one got bumped shamelessly up my reading list because my beautiful, wonderful, wise sister posted her copy to me <3
Also, I get weirdly nervous about sharing my thoughts on popular books, or books that people I know have read! I guess because when it’s something that I can feel is just mine, I feel like I can just ramble out my every meaningless thought, but if other people have read it, they might also have opinions and what if mine are wrong??
Well, let’s find out, shall we?
Disclaimer: This is probably going to be rubbish at being any sort of review, because, as any fule kno, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play. Which I patently have not seen. And, much like screenplays and poetry, it’s not my usual reading medium of choice. The only plays I’ve read in my life are some Shakespeares when I was a precocious bairn (where all my Hotspur girls at) and from my GCSEs (Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, and you’d better believe I felt short-changed by the lack of deaths), An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley , also from my GCSEs, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee, which traumatised me last year.
This is not a review, this is just my opinion.
So Cursed Child was basically Daddy Issues: A Play. I wonder if Harry ever regretted naming his other kids after his parents, leaving Albus Severus as the odd one out. I guess he didn’t know he’d only have two sons and he was never very good at thinking ahead, but dude. Naming your kids is a big deal when you’re going to name them all after dead people.
We got to see what kind of dad Harry became (a Just Doing The Best He Could one) but it would have been nice to see what kind of mother Ginny was. Especially at the point where Harry just kept blundering in and making things worse, I would have thought that Ginny would have intervened. Again, we got some tiny little glimpses of Ginny’s experience in her first year with Tom Riddle’s diary, but again, it didn’t feel like enough? As a character she always seems a little bit blank to me. Maybe that’s just the nature of the game – there was never enough space for her around the Golden Trio – but it’s a bit sad.
As I think everyone in the universe who’s read the play has opined, I would love to see how they do it on stage. It must be insane. I did find some of the stage directions were written a bit breathlessly though. I guess everyone has their own way of writing them, and as I’ve said, plays aren’t something I read a lot – and this play was pretty much expressly written to be read by the lay public, as was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – so chalk this up as an observation rather than a criticism.
Scorpius and Albus’s friendship was one of my favourite parts of the whole thing. Seeing what kind of dad Draco had become was almost more interesting than Harry, because Draco had a lot more changing to do from teenager to middle-aged man. Seeing how he dealt with being an ex-Death Eater, knowing he’d have it hanging over him his whole life and no one would ever let him forget it, how Astoria changed him (not that we got to see that directly, alas), how he tried to protect Scorpius from facing the consequences of what he’d done. And Scorpius mentioned that he thought he’d disappointed his dad, but Draco never seemed to show that at all. He was just fiercely protective of him.
The Polyjuice shenanigans and alternate timelines were really fun (and awful when necessary of course) and must be really great to act, and maybe one day we poor plebs will get the chance to actually see it happen. I’d love to stitch “You’re upsetting the Dementors and entirely ruining Voldemort Day.” one day. What a brilliant line to end Part One on.
All in all, I know I didn’t get as much out of it as I would have done by experiencing it the way it was meant to be experienced, but I did enjoy the read, and if I ever do get the chance to see it, I definitely will.