(I wrote this a few weeks ago now, sorry it's taken so long to upload, ENJOY!)
For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a pair of tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End. (cheers Santa!) For anyone like me who grew up around the Harry Potter books and films I’m sure you’d be just as eager as I was to find out what happened next.
I purposely avoided reviews and ignored all speculation. I hadn't really thought about what would happen or what I wanted to happen and to be able to go in not expecting anything in particular. I was excited to be seeing a preview and also pretty smug about the whole world not knowing what happens until the official opening and book release at the end of July.
I don't want to give away any spoilers, you’re asked #KeepTheSecrets and as far as I’ve seen since seeing the show is everyones kept them. Also no one really wants to know, even if you say you do, you don’t really.
One of the unique factors about this play is that it is split into two parts. On Friday the 1st of July I saw Part 1 and on Saturday the 2nd of July I saw Part 2 and both parts were AMAZING! I was glad we didn’t have to wait a year or so for Part 2 like we did with the books and films, we only had to wait 24 hours.
As you know (lets face it, if you don’t where have you been?) the books don't end on a cliffhanger but they do end 19 years after Harry defeats Voldemort (yes, i dare to say the name) with Harry, Ron and Hermione saying goodbye to their children who are now off to Hogwarts so there was definitely another story that could be told and this is where the play begins.
I think I went through every possible emotion whilst watching. It’s hilarious (which for some reason I wasn’t expecting) and incredibly sad and moving at points. Every scene had a purpose, it didn’t feel like they were trying to fill time for the novelty of it being in two parts. It was such a good story and flowed really well, it wasn’t like they’d just hung onto the Harry Potter name and written it for the money, it felt like it had the same care and attention that JK Rowling had put into the original books.
The set and costumes were incredible and the use of props was so clever, the suitcases, if you see the show, you’ll know what I mean. They could not have chosen a better theatre for this play either. The Palace Theatre is beautiful and one you’re inside the staircases and just everything about it suit Harry Potter and the whole Wizarding World better than any theatre I’ve been in. My favourite part, the magic, oh the magic, how? what? why? how? HOW?! Before the magic in the movies came from special effects and CGI put in after and the books was our imagination, but this was something else, it was flawless. Magic is real!!
I have so much admiration for the cast and crew. How this crew have managed to work out the timings, places, set pieces, props, costumes, sound, music, MAGIC and who knows how many different things is beyond me. I would not know where to begin, they must be superhuman. I was in awe and having nothing but pure admiration for this cast. To be able to remember everything for a West End show night after night amazes me anyway but for two shows each about two and a half hours long just baffles me and as far as I could see not one line was missed and nothing went wrong.
After the films, you have that image in your head and if you read the books now you can’t deny that that is who/what you picture. Its like in the third film when unfortunately Richard Harris had past away and Michael Gambon played Dumbledore, I was a little sceptical but I couldn’t imagine Richard Harris playing Dumbledore in the last six films but the same way I can’t imagine Michael Gambon as him in the first two, it’s kind of the same here. Both actors, if its Daniel Radcliffe or Jamie Parker, they’re both Harry and they both do equally an amazing job and its the same with Ron, Hermione and all the other characters from the books. Having different actors adds something different and they make them they’re own but they’re still the characters we know and love.
Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley and Noma Dumezweni are everything you need from Harry, Ron and Hermione, they’ve grown up but they have those same characteristics and even mannerisms from the books and movies. Sam Clemmett and Anthony Boyle as Albus and Scorpius are slowly becoming my favourite characters in the whole Wizarding World. To be thrown into this world with such high expectations and to carry the show how they did just shows how incredibly talented they both are. Clearly theres some sort of wizardry going on when you realise they’re not as young as you think (people say the same to me, ‘you’ll love it when you’re older’). I can’t not mention Alex Price as Draco, possibly my favourite character from the play mainly because I’m a little jealous of his long, blonde locks but after seeing him in the TV show ‘Father Brown’ as loveable chauffeur Sid I wasn’t expecting him to take on the role of Draco and be so good at being bad although we all know Draco’s a softie really.
I’d honestly give the whole play 10/10 I couldn’t fault it. I’d say its fine for kids to go see it, but not too young, there are a few scenes that even scared me a little but no more than the films. I would definitely go back and see it again, maybe not so soon though as it is in two parts and its tiring for me (stupid chronic illness) and especially if you’re not from the local area I’d book two consecutive shows, you could even see the whole play in a day on certain days they’re doing matinee Part 1 and evening Part 2 shows. If you can’t go see it hopefully the book will be just as good!!
Speak to you sooner, hopefully.