The first thing that needs to be established about the much hyped eighth addition to the Harry Potter franchise is the most obvious fact of all. This is a play script. As many have pointed out, it does have a somewhat different vibe to it, but this was inevitable with any switch in format. There isn’t as much description or development as there would be in a book, but that it because it has a different context and a different purpose. Books are designed to wrap you up in their world over longer periods of time, whilst plays are designed to be performances presented to you all in one go. This isn’t really an eighth Harry Potter book, in the way that many would have hoped. But it still manages to be an incredibly heart-warming, emotional and wildly fun read (and watch, I can imagine), if you can accept it for what it is.
Having made the point about development, the way in which several of the characters in the play are developed is actually very good. Without giving too much away, there are two outstanding but distinctly different examples of relationships developed that deserve a mention. The first is the relationship between Harry and his son Albus, as introduced in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows. It is deep, complex and angst ridden, but also done in a very realistic manner. The second, and better done, of the two is the friendship between Albus and Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son. Their relationship is at the core of the play and it is probably the best part about it. Trust me, adorable doesn’t even cover those two.
What is also admirable about Cursed Child is that they take an admittedly clichéd direction with the story- however, it is set up in a way that makes it fit in very well, with the rest of the set up considered. The opening scenes are also done in a way that builds up a lot of the emotions that run through the rest of the story very well. The final point is probably the most basic one of all- it is really really funny. Like, laugh out loud and get weird looks levels of funny.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a very fun read with a strong emotional core that will leave the majority of Harry Potter fans satisfied.