First of all I would like to say that I didn’t hate the play but I didn’t love it either. Also, I have only read the play so my review is solely based on the written words not the whole play experience.
This leads nicely to my first point about the play. I think they should have distributed the play differently. A lot of people feel negatively about the play but everyone I know who has seen it has said that even if hey had some problems with the plot the actual experience was magnificent. They are allowing us to judge a fraction of a piece of art as if it’s the whole piece of art. I feel that they should have had at least a couple of nights where they showed the play at the cinema before the book of the script was released so that more people could see the play in its intended format. This would have meant that the critiques of the play would have been more accurate (how can I know if some of my issues with the Cursed Child are solved in the play). It wouldn’t have made a different to the sales of the play or the book, so if the Cursed Child was about money it would again be to their advantage.
Another issue I had was that some of the characters didn’t feel like the characters we feel in love with, specifically Ron who felt like he was just there for comic relief. Harry also felt out of character when he was interacting with Albus. I can’t imagine that the Harry we know would be that cruel to his own son. This may be because of the different writers or the fact that we don’t see from a characters point of view or the fact that a lot of time has passed since the play toke place.
Furthermore, another big problem I had with the play was that the story focused on both Albus and Harry. To me it felt like they couldn’t decide who’s story it is. Obviously the story had to heavily feature Harry as it is a Harry Potter story but I think it could have been better if the story didn’t revolve so much about elements of his high school life. It should have felt like a separate story where we get to learn about Albus and his group of friends and fellow students. I know most people’s, including mine, favourite parts where with Scorpius and Albus. In my opinion I think that the story shouldn’t have focused on Cedric and Voldermort (specifically his child, which made no sense) as their stories both felt done with. We should have had a plot that was about a new set of characters who we could fall in love with and invest in their story.
As well as having some characters who didn’t need to be there appear just for the sake of it but a lot of characters who felt like they should have been there weren’t. Teddy was said to have been really close to the Potters so why didn’t he appear or at least be mentioned. It was almost like they forgot about him completely. Although this wasn’t my biggest problem with the play it was still irritating.
In addition, the plot felt almost like a fanfic with its main focus (the time turners) that was weird and felt like an excuse to revisit/mention some characters from the books (mainly Snape). Also, the idea of Voldermort having a daughter was completely left of centre and felt like a way of randomly linking Voldermort to the story. A lot of the developments in the story just happened and had no explanation at all and lots of things that happened seemed far to convenient. These issues with events just happening may be because of the fact that it’s a play so everything can’t be explained.
Last but not least, I had an issue with the romance in the play. Why did no one realise who weird it was that a 20 year old was hanging out with two 14 year old boys. I know Albus was kind of oblivious but Scorpius was shown to be clever so surely he would have realised. In addition why at the end did Scorpius ask out Rose when there was no romantic build up at all. The only relationship that had any build up was Albus and Scorpius who had many jealous looks throughout the play. But to be honest the play didn’t need any romance at all as it wasn’t the point of the play.
Obviously there were parts of the play that I did like. These include:
– I liked how they were all the Cursed Child in a way. Albus was cursed by the legacy of Harry, Scorpius was cursed by the rumour of Voldermort being his parent and Delphi was cursed by Voldermort being her dad.
– A lot of the scenes felt like they would translate well on the stage and would be fun and interesting to watch. For example the bookshelf scene.
– Scorpius was a great character who I fully routes for.
– Scorpius and Albus had a great friendship and it was a great focus for the play.
– I liked how it showed that Slytherines can be good people.
– Draco felt in character and his redemption was a nice factor to the storyline.
– I loved that Hermione is the minister of magic, that was great and it was so in character.
– Some of the aspects of the play felt like they were for the fans which was nice but was probably responsible for some of the problems of the play.
Overall, I think that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an enjoyable and fun read that must be fabulous to watch but unfortunately doesn’t live up to the hype.