Reading ‘The Cursed Child’: Pros and Cons

Last night marked my final night of being consumed by ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ – and it is a brilliant story, not overcomplicated but thrilling in equal amounts, it seems to make for a spectacular production.

But fans are conflicted as to whether to follow the script-reading route or to leave the play a magical surprise (the surprise being getting tickets in 50 years time). So here’s my five pros and cons of reading the script…

323970110Pros:

1) It’s enchanting: in the punderful and literal sense. It’s a heartwarming story and reminds us what Harry Potter is all about – friends, family and a world unified by love.

2) You’ll understand the nuances of the play: from Augurey’s to spells cast, there are inevitably bits of any play that you miss in the excitement of watching – this is a handy guide.

3) The chances of getting tickets: slim to none, at present. This way, you know the story but still have the theatrical spectacular to look forward to (along with the inevitable tour, then film…).

4) What if you can only see Part One? Here’s the cure without leaving you clawing at your eyeballs desperate to know the end.

5) It’s all about the journey: whether it’s read, seen, heard, danced…Harry Potter has always been a wonderful journey, and this allows you to experience it with your own interpretations, and your own response to the characters – just as the books did.

 

Cons:

  1. Spoilers! Need I say more? Everything’s ruined, there’s no magical surprises. But then again, see the issue vis a vis ticket acquisition…
  2. Misreading: there are areas that will inevitably leave you scratching your head because you don’t know how it’s supposed to be acted, intoned and seen – it’s a play, not a book, after all, and stage directions are minimal.
  3. Guessing: in the frenzy of the theatre, it would be easy to get engrossed and forget to guess ahead as to what’s coming, but in reading I couldn’t help it – there are so many tantalising clues that you’re constantly second guessing your reading.
  4. Your favourites aren’t the same: perhaps its better to divorce them from the books in certain places, because the trio we left behind have changed, and sometimes for the frustrating rather than the good.
  5. Theatre advocates, unite! Who doesn’t enjoy the wonder of the theatre?! Let the theatre do its job – transform a magical script to a spellbinding play.

harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-2

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