WARNING: This article contains some magical spoilers. Continue at your own risk.
It’s been almost ten years since bookshops have had to cope with the Potter-mania that comes with the release of a chapter in the world’s most successful book series. Just when you thought that was done and dusted, along comes ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. Although it is slightly different this time around, the story is in the form of a script, lifted from the theatre version which is currently playing in London at the Palace Theatre. However, it is important to emphasise the fact that even though it is in script format, that doesn’t take away from the true Harry Potter magic that J.K Rowling is such a genius at creating.
The ‘novel’ follows the events of Deathly Hallows at Kings Cross Station, where young Albus is heading to Hogwarts for the first time. On the train he meets Scorpius Malfoy, and the two meet in similar fashion to how Harry, Ron & Hermione met many years previously. Once at Hogwarts, Albus gets sorted surprisingly into Slytherin and gets even closer to Scorpius, but at a price as he alienates himself from the rest of the students. In addition to this, he begins to push himself apart from his father, Harry.
Long story short, both Harry and Scorpius get hold of a Time Turner (remember Hermione had one in Prisoner of Azkaban), and go back to the Twiwizard Tournament (Goblet of Fire), in an attempt to save Cedric Diggory. This is a clear moment where J.K has used her character development to truly show why these boys would make such a risky move. The concept of travelling in time is such a large plot device within the story, and the jumping back to the original story gives such a feeling of nostalgia, taking back to a time when Potter-mania was at it’s peak.
As you can imagine, the travelling in time does not go to plan, and saving Cedric Diggory has led to a horrific alternative world which has seen Voldermort never die. Back in the present, current day Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco are fighting to try and get the boys back to fix their mistakes, and realise the error of their parenting that may have caused the situation to develop in the first place – which once the situation is resolved, leads to another happy ending, similar to how Deathly Hallows ended. Soppy for some, but with such a magical and well loved world, it kind of just works.
One way to view the story is a bit similar to how ‘The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror’ specials work. Using all the original cast and setting, but quite disjointed and unconventional to the original story. This story retains the magical feeling of Hogwarts along with the nostalgia of the entire series which we all experienced when we were younger. The nostalgia is boosted even further when the story uses time travel to takes us back to events in the original novels but in a different context. Yes, of course it’s different to the feel of the novels, but as an addition, it truly is fitting and well worth the almost ten year wait.
It is also vital to remember this is only the script, and the theatre performance brings along a new dimension to the story with early reviews praising the impressive special effects and use of ‘magic’. All that waits now is to actually see the theatre performance. A pair of tickets still needs to be nabbed for us, so it might be a bit of a wait – I guess the book will keep the magic alive till then – ★★★★