Although there are flaws with this story, I found Harry Potter and the Cursed Child an enjoyable read. Hidden beneath a plot full of time travel and witty dialogue is a play about childhood and the difficult relationship between Albus Potter and his father Harry Potter. Albus feels like he is overshadowed by his famous father, the person who defeated Voldemort. I am glad that this play builds around the scene at the end of Deathly Hallows, where Albus Potter fears that he might be sorted into Slyherin, because it provides Harry Potter with a new test, to try and be a good parent.
In the Harry Potter series, Harry faced many challenges; defeating a basilisk, using the patronus charm to fight of hundreds of Dementors, the Triwizard Tournament and facing Lord Voldemort. A prophecy dictated Harry’s path, but 19 years after the Dark Lord’s demise, Harry Potter faces more adult problems. Life was not always easy for Harry at Hogwarts and neither is it easy for Albus.
The friendship between Albus and Scorpious is the best element to this play. There respective fathers were enemies at Hogwarts, but Albus and Scorpious share similar problems, so they become good friends. The rumours circulating that Scorpious is Voldemort’s child does not deter Albus, who knows that Scorpious is a good person. However, the wizarding world is still a dark place, where dark wizards and witches prey on trusting people.
Once you find out who Delphi really is, it becomes obvious how clever she was the manipulate Albus and Scorpious to help her steal a time turner and use it to alter history. Delphi is an orphan who lost her parents (Voldemort and Bellatrix), not long after her birth. Delphi wants to not only bring back a future where Voldemort rules supreme, but to have a father and mother to care for for her. Although Delphi version of that future would include herself being a powerful witch ruling at her father’s side.
It was also interesting to see Snape fully unmasked in a reality where Harry Potter failed to defeat Voldemort. Snape showed emotion when he was told by Scorpious that in the reality where Voldemort lost, Harry named his second son Albus Severus Potter. Snape also sacrificed himself to help Scorpious resurrect a reality where he is dead, to bring about Lord Voldemort’s demise.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child may not be written by J.K. Rowling, so it lacks the charm of the Harry Potter novels but it does tie up loose ends in the story, whilst revisiting moments from Harry Potter’s past. The plot is both bonkers and entertaining, but the human story underneath makes this play worth reading, plus it makes me want to go and see the play performed. Hopefully one can get tickets for next year.