For those unfamilar, there’s a play in London called The Cursed Child, a look at the world of Harry Potter years after the seventh book takes place. The story follows the golden trio and their children’s time at Hogwarts. Obviously this was enormous news for all fans of Harry Potter and the demand was so large that they decided to release the play script in the form of a book.
Reviews of the play claim it’s stage magic and classic theatre tricks are enchanting and the most outstanding part of the play. They say it falls short when it comes to the story, that our once beloved characters are hollowed reflections of who we knew them to be. Those who have read it claim that it feels like fanfiction, in the way that it often self references and resists originality.
Many fans didn’t hesitate to consume more Potter. They were ravid for the new story and it quickly became an eighth book in the mind of many. But this is not a novel, there is no beautiful exposition or setting, no quirky descriptions or painting of any world. It’s a script. And though it has been “approved” by J.K. Rowling, it is not written by her. She authorizes the consideration of this material as cannon, but I fear it would taint the original story.
Harry Potter has remained for me untouched by the saturated tendencies of the money-hungry entertainment industry. They have not yet tarnished the magic for money, not yet cheaped their way into a scam for hungry fans. In some ways, The Cursed Child feels like a step towards that. It feels as though they are trying to sell us something it is not.
That being said, this was clearly made for the stage and that’s the only way I intend to ever experience it.
Whether you’ve read it or not, let me know what you think.