The World According to Renee

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Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


For those living under a rock, the latest (and, according to JK herself, the last) installment of Harry Potter’s adventures has hit both the shelves and the London stage.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child finds Harry a middle aged father of three teenagers. The play focuses on Albus, the middle child, who befriends Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius and together they screw things up pretty badly.

Yes, the book is a play. I personally have no problems with reading a play: I love Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Shakespeare’s works are still hugely popular and read in schools. Maybe a novel would have eliminated the issues I have with the story, but there’s definitely no problem with it being a script.

I do have two main issues with this: 1) The dialogue is utter rubbish and 2) It’s hardly an original story.

I’m of the understanding (and happy to be corrected) that JK Rowling provided the story while two experienced scriptwriters brought the story to life. Personally, I don’t think it’s  done well. The dialogue ranges from sappy to exposition with little substance in between. Apparently the play lasts over five hours! There are parts that could be cut; I don’t see the value of speeding through three years at Hogwarts nor repeating the same scene in its entirety three times. Your audience isn’t stupid, don’t talk down to them. As for exposition – your characters do not need to explain what’s going on.

I was also disappointed with the characters. Ron wasn’t himself, Harry was the most boring middle aged office worker one could imagine but at least Hermione was everything one would expect Hermione to be. Albus was a typical teenage kid and Scorpius was not what I expected at all. Draco has mellowed with age with none of the wit he once possessed.

As for the story… All I will say is all your most loved and most hated characters are back, even if it’s only a cameo. The story itself is predictable but moves along at a good pace once you’re past the initial fast forwarding of Albus’ first three years at Hogwarts. Obviously in a novel, there’s time to extricate the story and set the scene, but still… it’s a five hour play which doesn’t need to be that long. Films have proven you can still have good story representation in under three hours…

Overall, I didn’t love it. Some of my friends say it was a wild ride from start to finish but I humbly disagree. I was severely disappointed with the story and the characters were not as rounded as I’d hoped.

Sadly, only six out of ten bookmarks.


August 4, 2016 Posted by | Reviews | , , | Leave a comment