Theatre review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


By Kerri Mackenzie

*Warning this review contains spoilers*

On the 31st of July 2016 the world changed forever. Ok maybe that’s a bit dramatic but we did get a new Harry Potter *book* and that was something I never thought I’d see again. I was overjoyed that JK Rowling had released the script for the play of the same name since tickets were rarer than a crumple-horned Snorkack. I appreciate that there is so much more to a play than the script but this meant that I got to be a part of the experience at least. I read the whole thing in about 2 hours. I opened the book full of joy and nostalgia and as the play progressed I got more and more annoyed and frustrated.

Unless you are a die-hard Potterhead like myself do not read this play. If you have never read Harry Potter before do not start by reading this play. The plot in itself isn’t terrible. Who doesn’t love some time-travel high jinks and the potential resurrection of Voldemort? But the writing was terrible; when I read the line “my geekness is a-quivering” I was ready to burn the book and be done with it. The dialogue is frightfully clumsy in places and then there are lines like that one which make you thing why on earth did JK even bother in the first place.

I’ve got a lot of questions after reading this play; where did Hugo go? Why was Harry made out to be the worst father in the world? Why was this even written? But the biggest question I have for JK “champion of the gays” Rowling is why oh why did you not make Albus Severus and Scorpius a get together? The whole entire play is written like a bad Scorbus fanfiction. This is queer baiting at its peak. The entire play is set up so the reader believes we will actually be getting a gay romance in one of the biggest franchises known to man. But no, despite the proclamations of love between the two boys the play ends on a massive NO HOMO. I understand platonic love and the power of friendship etc etc but why JK felt the need to take this amazing opportunity to put a gay romance at the forefront of the Harry Potter sequel and then ignore that is beyond me. She could have done something extraordinary and magical but instead she chose not to. The play is quite frankly disappointing on all fronts with the exception of the nostalgia factor which, for most casual Harry Potter fans (who didn’t burst into tears when the play was announced like me), just isn’t enough to redeem it.