There’s been so much hype around the new Harry Potter play and rightly so – it is a fantastic series that transcends audiences. While the script is wildly popular, I’ve been reluctant to actually read it, and I have several reasons why.
Firstly, the Cursed Child is a dramatic script – it’s intended form is not to be read, but acted out on a stage. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of studying literature (and Shakespeare), it is that scripts are meant to be acted out. In addition to the dialogue, there’s stage directions, there’s physical gestures used to convey the story; heck, even the tone used my actors to convey the lines can change the meaning of words on a page. There’s lighting, which highlights and shadows different areas of the stage, and used to emphasise different parts of the story. All these dramatic techniques are obviously meant to be seen, and not read in a book.
I had such a difficult time getting my head around Othello when I was reading it, but when I was watching the movie adaptation, it made so much more sense, because you can infer some things from the actors’ expression, body language and gestures. Even when it’s not Shakespeare, I find a script so much more detailed when it’s performed on a stage.
I tend to have a policy that I stand by: always read the book before watching the film (or whatever the adaptation of the book happens to be). But since Cursed Child is intended to be a script, I’m more inclined to watch the play first, then go back to the script.
In saying that, my chances of actually getting to see the play is quite low. Considering I live on the other side of the world where the play is showing in theatres, unless I take a trip to Europe (which I can’t afford and don’t have time for right now), I’m probably not going to get the chance to watch it in person. What would be cool, however, is if they released a recording of the stage play – I’m totally down for that.
I honestly think it’s a wonderful thing that they released the script for the play for everyone to enjoy (and possible make some money while they’re at at). But I would rather watch the production of it, on a stage before reading the script.
I really do want to know what happens in the Harry Potter world – I guess there’s fanfictions for all of that, but I do want to see what this particular take on the future is like.
Another disadvantage is that it’s going to be so difficult to avoid spoilers for the book – I’ve already been told bits and pieces, and I’ve read the first two scenes, but I really don’t want to know more before I read it.
So that’s my two cents on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! What are your opinions on it? Are you going to read it, or go and see the play?