Comparing the Rehearsal and Final Editions of “Cursed Child”
Fans may recall that there were two versions mentioned when the announcement of a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book was made. The special rehearsal edition was published to coincide with the play’s first public performances, with the promise of a definitive collector’s edition at a later stage (pun intended 🙂 ).
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two: The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production was released on July 25, 2017. Despite my feelings about the play, I was still curious as to what changes were made in the updated script almost a year after Cursed Child‘s official opening. So to commemorate “Nineteen Years Later,” it was only appropriate that I bring out the sticky notes and analyze the texts line by line.
This revised paperback edition opens with a conversation piece between playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany. In this section, the two creators share personal anecdotes as they reflect on the first play they ever read, their early ventures into theater, and the thought processes that went into creating Cursed Child‘s script for publication.
As we learned before, the last few pages consist of the Potter family tree and a timeline of the seven Harry Potter novels. While the family tree might be insightful for casual fans who haven’t watched J.K. Rowling’s 2007 documentary and don’t follow Pottermore, where this information is already revealed, I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t more comprehensive.
Overall, subtle changes were made throughout the whole script to expand upon (and slightly alter, in some cases) the character development and to enhance the reading experience for those like me who are unable to watch the show. Below is a summary of the differences that I found between the two Little, Brown editions:
Several descriptions have been extended to help readers visualize the scene better.
Stage movements were clarified at some points.
In terms of major changes, there were instances where the dialogue and directions were rearranged, perhaps to improve the pacing or characterization.
Interestingly, Albus and Scorpius’s relationship has been slightly diminished in one scene, where Albus no longer calls Scorpius “the best person I know”…
… while Ron and Hermione’s love for each other is reinforced.
While a majority of the dialogue remained the same, I’d recommend those who haven’t watched or those wanting a copy of the Cursed Child story to purchase this revised version for the extra annotations. But as I’ve stated in my initial review of the script, unfortunately, no book will ever quite replace the full experience of watching the play being performed in theaters.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.