by Anna Heinen, junior writing coach
(some minor content will be revealed!)
This summer, Harry Potter’s birthday was marked with the publication of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play script. The play is written by the British playwright Jack Thorne and created with the help of JK Rowling. I celebrated the occasion by waiting around in the nearest book store with my sister until the next shipment of books came, then proceeded to read the entire play aloud in just two days.
The story begins 19 years after the battle of Hogwarts with Harry’s son, Albus, leaving for Hogwarts in his first year. Being Harry Potter’s son, he is typecasted to be Gryffindor through and through and a great quidditch player. Harry, however, struggles balancing his job as Head of Magical Law Enforcement and being the accepting father he should be, while Albus faces criticism for befriending Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius (despite the nasty rumors going around about Scorpius). Wishing to impress his father, Albus takes on the dangerous task of changing the past, and the play culminates in some truly magical time travel.
Personally, I thought it was a great story, but, as the actual play was written by Jack Thorne and not J.K. Rowling, it lacked the usual zing found in the original Harry Potter books. Because it is in play form, the inner emotions of the characters are not represented with a narrator, and portraying those emotions is left up to the actors. Just reading the play and not seeing the actors on stage makes the reader feel as if the characters are foreign; this is a similar experience to getting to know a character in a book then watching the movie and having your image be shattered.
Despite this slight disappointment, I loved stepping back into the magical world for two days. Not only did it set in stone my detest for Dolores Umbridge, but it also was amazing to see Hermione live out her role as MINISTER OF MAGIC! I think that this story was just what fans needed: an assessment of Harry’s role as a father along with an examination of his past, all through the eyes of his son.