My review (with ZERO spoilers) of the Cursed Child script...
The 31st of July: JK Rowling’s birthday; Harry Potter’s birthday; the release date for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (otherwise known as—The Day We’ve All Been Waiting For).
When I woke up on the morning of the 31st, I instantly felt like a fourteen-year-old again. I felt exactly the same as I did when I burst into the Big W in Ballarat to collect my copy of Order of the Phoenix in 2003. Exactly the same as I did in 2007 when I lined up at a bookstore in Perth to buy Deathly Hallows and then locked myself in my room for two days to make sure no-one at uni could spoil the ending for me. Basically, my entire adolescence flashed before my eyes as I entered my local bookstore to pick up my pre-ordered copy of the hardcover script of the new Harry Potter play.
The opportunity to be taken back into Harry’s world is such a gift, and I know all of the hardcore fans will be revelling in the delight of reading the names ‘Harry’, ‘Ron’ and ‘Hermione’ in print once more. For me, this story was such a treat. It was like attending your own 10-year high-school reunion and seeing all of the familiar faces, and hearing the amazing things everyone has achieved so far in life (without the awkward conversations with people with names you can't remember). Not to mention the fact that Cursed Child is a wonderful new tale in its own right, full of the twists and turns we have come to expect from JK’s brilliant mind.
After Part 1, I purposefully waited overnight to read Part 2 of the script, so that I'd have the same level of anticipation as an audience member seeing the play in two parts. And I was certainly not disappointed: the plot shocked me, kept me on my toes, made me laugh, and made me cry. Plus, I was blown away by the manner in which JK and her co-writers had managed to tie the new story in with the original plot from the seven novels.
The biggest (and most obvious difference) between Cursed Child and the books, is that Cursed Child is a script. It’s formatted exactly the same as the scripts the actors would have been given on their first day of rehearsals: characters, lines, stage directions, etc. As an actor myself, I’m very familiar with reading scripts, and I found it incredibly enjoyable, mainly because I was given the opportunity to play all of the characters (I make a brilliant Hermione!) and make them exactly how I imagined. The are no ‘she shouted’, ‘he whispered’, or a single adverb in sight, so the dialogue is freely manipulated by the reader, as he or she gives each character a voice. It is a wonderful workout for the imagination to create a whole world from just a few stage directions and very little description about place and character! It’s like directing your own film version of the story, that only you will ever see.
There’s nothing I hate more than a spoiler, so there isn’t a lot more I can really discuss about the script, but I’d love to know people’s thoughts on the different format. Did you love playing all of the characters in your head as much as I did? Did you struggle to create a whole world for yourself from the framework of the script?
Whatever your experience, I’m certain that any Harry Potter fan would have had their appetite for all things wizard sated… for now. (When is the series about Ilvermorny being released, JK?)
Meanwhile, I’m now dying to see the play in London, and I happen to be visiting in September. It’s sold out until the end of time already, but I can always stage my own version in my lounge room… right?
Don’t forget to check out My Hogwarts Sorting Experience, to see what happened when my Pottermore Sorting didn’t quite go to plan…
Grab a copy of the script for yourself in hardcover or ebook at Amazon.com!