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Harry Potter and The Cursed Child - Parts One and Two: The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production (Special Rehearsal Edition) Paperback – 31 Jul 2016
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The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, a new play by Jack Thorne.
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From the Publisher
As we’re sure you’ve spotted, there’s an eighth Harry Potter story in town…
Hours after the curtains come down on the official opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two in London’s Palace Theatre on 30th July 2016, the Special Rehearsal Edition script launches in ebook and print formats to be enjoyed by readers around the world.
The Special Rehearsal Edition of the script will be available for a limited time, and gives readers the earliest opportunity to read the eighth story. In this edition, readers will have access to the script used by the cast and creative team during rehearsals and previews.
Previews are a chance to make tweaks outside the rehearsal room and based on the reactions of a real audience. During the preview period, in front of a live audience, the script was fine-tuned by the creative team.
This Special Rehearsal Edition will be available to purchase until early 2017, after which a Definitive Edition of the script will go on sale.
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This is a difficult book to review I admit – mainly because of mixed feelings, which to be clear from the outset does not mean that I disliked the book at all, just that I had certain issues.
I don’t want to give away too much about the plot in this review. Time has moved on. Harry and Ginny have three children and their middle child Albus is about to attend Hogwarts. It isn’t easy living in the shadow of such a famous wizard – big boots to fill and Albus and Harry find themselves with an ever increasing wedge between them.
So, the good, the bad and the other!
I just loved getting to read about some of the characters again. It was like a trip down memory lane and it just gave me that happy glow that you sometimes achieve by reading about old beloved characters. Okay, this isn’t written by Rowling and so it isn’t the same – but it was just still nice to revisit them. Plus I loved some of the different threads and ideas that this plot allowed us to explore – but I won’t elaborate on that point.
Now on the counter to the above – I felt like the characters hadn’t grown. Which, in one way I liked, because I actually wanted to revisit the characters that I know and love. But, on the other hand – this is twenty odd years later so it felt to a certain extent that they should have changed in some ways. I think maybe in some respects that could be my own brain not allowing them to grow up if you follow me. It felt really odd seeing Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione as parents. I don’t think i could fully get my head around it. I felt like Ginny came across a bit wishy washy and Ron also felt to have lost some of his ‘character’. In terms of the new characters though Scorpius was really good – I confess that I enjoyed his part more than that of Albus.
Two things that are totally personal to me and therefore might not affect others – one, I’m not overly fond of reading plays and, two, I’m a bit of a stickler about time travel.
So, and I realise that this will just sound crazy, but when I preordered this (and, yes, I did rush to buy a copy) even though it clearly says ‘a new play’ on the cover I don’t think I fully realised that it was actually going to be in a play format. Why, what was I expecting! A play that isn’t a play! Really! Anyway, obviously I’m a raging maniac but that’s irrelevant. That misconception was my own fault. I think I was being told it was a play but I was in denial somehow! Would I have still picked up a copy if I’d really understood that it was a play – I think I probably would have because I’m a completist in some ways and so it felt necessary to read this. But, for the record, I’m not a person who really reads plays because for me a play is a different experience. I just feel that it’s something to be enjoyed on a stage, acted out with backdrops.
On to the time travel. I love and hate time travel in books. There’s just an element of chicken and egg and what came first.
Basically, at the end of the day, I just decided to say to myself ‘sod it’ and read the book and decide to just go with the flow and quit all my over thinking and in that respect I actually enjoyed this. It was a quick and easy read. I loved getting to revisit Hogwarts and I enjoyed the rewind to certain elements from the previous books plus all the characters.
In summary, I had a good time with this once I got into the flow of the play format and once I left my over zealous scrutiny at the door.
I feel that this is a book that people will either want to pick up or not whether or not I gush about it or not. As it happens, I actually had a good time reading it. It’s not perfect and I had to change my mindset but once I’d done so I thought it was well worth the read. In fairness, and to be honest, I would have preferred Rowling to write any follow up to the Harry Potter series but that didn’t happen and at least this was I got to go back and spend a little more time in a world that I enjoy.
it showed what harry has become and who's in change in this fantancy magical world from the H/P books Grangers the minster of magic, Harry's in change of misuse of magical artifacts dept. like mr wealsey was. But apart from all of this it was a enjoyable read which I did enjoy.
I feel the need to point out that this is not a new Harry Potter novel, it is the rehearsal edition script of the new HP story which is being told via a play. This is not the final edition of the script, it is the version that the writers used to begin with before tweaking it to perfection for opening night. Nor is this the format that this story was meant to be experienced in. Even writer Jack Thorne has said that this book is merely a substitute for people who can't go and see the play. I completely agree that some of the magic is lost in translation to the book, but that is because Cursed Child was never meant to be read as a book, it was meant to let the incredible performances of the actors and the astounding special effects do the work for it. The writing is only a small part of what makes this story so magical.
That's not to say the story itself isn't incredibly engrossing. The characters, both old and new, are brilliant (with a special mention to my new favourite characters, Scorpius and Draco Malfoy!) The plot is a wonderful mixture of old and new, making you feel familiar and at home in this same but also slightly different world while also keeping you on your toes and eager to find out more.
I love this story. As I've said, I was lucky enough to go and see the play after opening night, so for me this book makes sure that my memories of that amazing day will never fade. It's also really interesting for me to see what scenes were altered and changed before opening night.
I realise that not everyone is lucky enough to have tickets to this superb show, but I do ask that you bear in mind while reading it that you are reading something that should be seen. Hopefully, one day, Cursed Child will be filmed and we can all enjoy this fantastic story properly. Until that day, I look forward to reading this book over and over again until it is as worn out as my original Harry Potter books!
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