Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. J.K Rowling and others!

It’s been a week since I posted a negative review of James Runcie’s latest, and the sky has not fallen on my head, so I thought I would add a new post today and see if my luck held. Of course, there are many great reviews to be read on Shiny New Books today so I have deliberately avoided opening that site in case I am not heard from for a week or so…

Anyway, the “new” Harry Potter is out and in my case, read with enjoyment. I used to be able to go to the midnight openings in beautiful Bury St Edmunds with six children in tow (not all mine!) but this time I tootled into Derby Waterstones for my copy on Sunday lunchtime, owing to a rare afternoon off for the Vicar.

The first thing to realise is that this is not a novel, but a script. Therefore it took a bit of imagining to understand all the bits in this play, especially when some of the scenes were short and disconnected. That said, I enjoyed tracing the characters and story through the script and how both elements developed. It is a fast read, so I found myself putting it down to take in what had gone before and place it in the overall Potter narrative. So it’s not great literature, and there are not many pieces of stunning  writing, but having said that I really enjoyed how the characters were presented as being older, not necessarily wiser, and interacted with all that happens. There are many twists and turns which I did not foresee, and I won’t reveal for spoiling it, but overall it was a good experience to find out what happened to so many characters in the best of times and the worst of times. Anyone who has read the books, or just followed the films, has wondered what happened to those people that had been so well written or portrayed onscreen, and there is much to surprise and entertain if you can cope with the play format. As always, there is enough magic to keep things moving, but within limitations so the characters have to work and develop to cope.  With a series like this, the characters have to be consistent in order to maintain our interest, which some saga writers struggle with, so it was good to see the same foibles as well as the strengths of Harry et al in a new series of settings.

 

It goes without saying that I would love to see the play live, but I suspect it will be a while before I can organise that. Just a thought, that if so many people want to see it around the world, would it be possible to do a live cinema broadcast as they have for some Shakespeares’ that have sold out within hours? Not a film, which would take years, and is a different beast altogether, but a one off showing with no encore evenings? Thus those of us who cannot for many reasons attend the theatre (distance, finance, mobilty etc) in London could hope to see it in a setting which we can more easily access. Encore evenings would make it a less special experience, but those of us who will not get to London for the show could make the effort for a one off chance.

Whatever happens, I really enjoyed reading this despite it not being a novel, and would recommend it to Potter completists and anyone who ever wondered what happened next…

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