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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Review by Jill

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child imageThis screenplay, J.K Rowling’s first and in collaboration with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, has been eagerly anticipated for months, so much so that there is a year long waiting list for tickets to the London performance.

The action kicks off where it ended in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, with Harry, Ron and Hermione as adults and accompanied by their children on Platform 9 ¾. None of the main characters have changed, allowing the reader to reminisce fondly the many times Harry and his gang broke rules to save the day.

With Hermione as the Minister for Magic and Harry the Head of Law enforcement, we see the characters juggle home and work life, often unsuccessfully by Harry, who blurts out to his middle child that he wishes he wasn’t his son. I enjoyed this shocking revelation as all too often in the novels, Harry was seen as a prodigy rather than the argumentative and disrespectful teenager that he was.

However, beyond the statement is a lack of real characterisation; it is not fully explored how this relationship ended up at breaking point, and it feels as though it is used only as a plot device. Ron’s character is only used for humour, and he is missing in much of the action of the play and although Malfoy is a main antagonist, as well as a doting dad, one is not quite sure why Harry makes some of the decisions he does.

Don’t get me wrong- I devoured the play in one sitting and enjoyed the interplay between the characters. Nevertheless, I imagine the play would be quite disappointing if you are one of the few who hasn’t read the originals due to the weak development of characters. The first part is much stronger than the second, and regardless if you are reading or watching the play, you will be gripped to find out what happens.

An intriguing insight into the lives of the original characters, but unfortunately for me, it doesn’t live up to the hype.

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