I cannot deny that I was one of the millions of Harry Potter fans that was ecstatic to hear the news that our messiah J.K. Rowling would grace us with another window in the Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with a new story revolving around Harry’s young son Albus. This new story however, would be portrayed onstage at the Palace Theater in London, information that both excited me and made me want to ugly cry. Knowing I would never be able to see the play live in London and that the chances of me ever really see the play anywhere were slim, I waited with mounting anticipation for the release of the script version written by Jack Thorne. I was so excited that I almost succeeded in talking my friend into attending the release party at my neighborhood Barnes and Noble but do to my lack of coaxing skills, we did not attend.
I didn’t have to wait long however to receive my copy, for my enabler of a boyfriend had a fresh hardcover waiting for me when I got home from my shift the day of it’s release. I obviously took the next day off of work.
I spent my day off laying on my couch flying (pun fully intended) through the pages of dialogue laid before me by Thorne. I was pleasantly greeted with familiar characters with their familiar personalities like seeing old friends again, but could not get over the missing feeling of the whole. The whole world that we as Harry Potter readers are immersed into by Rowling’s descriptions, development and adjectives.
I have to give a small disclaimer, I have recently been using my monthly audible.com credits to listen to the magnificent human being that is Jim Dale tell Harry’s story via audio book. It just so happens that I am almost to the end of Book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which is where the central focus of Cursed Child takes place. It is different listening to Harry’s emotions about competing in Triwizard Tournament as an adult. Now I find myself closing in on Harry’s anxieties and tensions with both himself and his support system. Listening to over 20 hours of Harry’s development to become a champion all while knowing what is to become in the series, Cursed Child felt completely rushed. The major twist within the plot read like fan fiction and I don’t know if this is something to dislike with the story or the prelude to a bigger discussion of what has happened to Harry since the internet has gotten a hold of him. I follow Albus and his friend Scorpious through their adventure through time back and feel like I am being robbed of Albus’s true issue of identity within the story. Albus’s first three years at Hogwarts are a blur of stage production and special effects that when cleared the reader is introduced to a sullen teenager with Daddy issues that seem underdeveloped.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was an anticipated welcome back to friends that I haven’t seen in years but like most friends that I have left behind, I seem to the have changed and our relationship just doesn’t seem the same.