This post does not contain any spoilers but if you have tickets booked or are planning on going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child it would be in your best interest to not read this post.
I had intended this to be a review of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book but I can’t do it. I know a lot of people who have only read the script didn’t like it and I think I know the reason why. Reading the script is nothing like actually seeing the play. It’s sort of similar to how you can’t really enjoy a musical soundtrack until you’ve actually seen the musical because it misses out on so much of the context. I realise you get the stage directions in the book (which are really weird by the way, this must be the only script to make jokes in the stage directions) but even the stage directions don’t fully convey what’s actually happening in the theatre. There is a moment in these plays which might just be the most terrifying thing I’ve seen in the theatre, but in the book it’s a single sentence. The two don’t compare.
I think part of the problem with Cursed Child has been all the hype surrounding it. I mean everyone has been calling it the 8th Harry Potter book. And it’s just not. It’s a story told in the Potter universe but this is not a Harry Potter book. It’s a script. I’m now going to say something which may annoy people. If you are a fan of Harry Potter don’t read this book. This story was intended to be told as a play and that is the way you should see it. And yeah I realise a lot of people can’t see the play due to money problems or living too far away from London. The theatre is inherently elitist because you actually have to go somewhere and pay to see it. But this is a problem with all the shows currently running not just Cursed Child.
Oh I should also mention, I’ve heard rumors that the script in this book is not the final version from the show. And though I spotted some minor changes from the book the two are very similar (but then again, it’s been two months since I saw the play and my memory is terrible).