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Spellbinding review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I have been waiting for this day since I put down the seventh book nine years ago. The next installment of the Harry Potter series was released on July 31.

Harry Potter resonates with such an extensive age range as it can transport you into this magical world where anything is possible. We can all relate to Harry at some stage in the series and ultimately, I think that’s what makes Harry’s character so likeable; he embodies the story of what it’s like growing up.

But was it worth the wait?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the “eighth story”, is set 19ish years after the events of the last book. Harry Potter is nearing middle age and experiencing whatever the wizard equivalent is of a midlife crisis.

Thankfully we don’t have to endure a Ferrari broomstick or a younger, more giggly Muggle version of Ginny (“Oh Harry, what a big wand you have!”) – instead, JK Rowling and her co-writer playwrights Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, decided to play on the pathos of a kid who never grew up with a father and learning what it means to be a good one.

What readers need to note before reading Cursed Child is that it’s a play script, not a novel, thus leaving many fans disappointed. Evidently, Rowling’s magical quill isn’t there to overload your senses with delicious bon mots about Butterbeer and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.

We got a glimpse of an adult Harry in the epilogue in the Deathly Hallows, but now we see him in more detail as a father, husband, and ministry worker. Relations between Harry and teenage Albus are somewhat strained. It will take an adventure or two, involving Time Turner’s, and attempts to right the wrongs of the past to learn lessons for the future before improvements are made.

All-in-all, I loved being back in the magical world of Harry Potter and I think many of the fans will too. It’s an enjoyable postscript to the series, and it’s evident the level of care in the writing of the script suggests that the playwrights are massive fans too.

Save it for an evening at home by the fire with a jug of Butterbeer and a pumpkin pasty and relive the glory days of your youth with Harry and friends.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part West End stage play and is currently playing in London.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child West End play cast:

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Imogen Atkins
Imogen is an aspiring broadcaster who has recently relocated from the Manawatu to the big smoke to further her education. She is working towards a Diploma in Broadcasting and Journalism at the NZ Radio Training School.
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