★★★★★ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Review.


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“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is based on the original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The show has been extended through 2017 with more tickets going on sale in April 2017. There are talks and auditions being held for the Broadway production, which is not surprising to me at all. If you can grab tickets, spend all your money. Spend your savings and go see this wonderful, deep, dark and magical performance. If you didn’t know, the play covers two performances. I saw both performances in one day and I would have happily done the 5 hour+ stretch and had a few intervals. But it was cool to leave the theatre and have a pizza in-between the performances. It I a bit daunting to spend all that money on one show, especially for a student like me, but I do not regret it. If you know and love a Harry Potter fan, this is the perfect gift for them, or, treat yo’ self. 8 Awards guys.

The reason why this show is so fantastic and is touching the hearts of all who see it, is because it brings the world of magic to physical life on stage. Audiences are used to reading and watching the films on the screen, and the theatre invites audiences to feel part of the enchanted, wizarding world and forget their muggle lives for nearly an entire day.

Entering the theatre was a magical experience to begin with, I was extremely giddy with the gift shop. (I bought pencils, I don’t use pencils, but I wanted the cool pencils.) I am ashamed to say though that I do not have my own wand yet. I can’t decide. When I next go to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour (4th time, yeah baby) I will buy one. Probably Snape’s because, we all love him and he is the hero. However, I do have pencils and t-shirts and programmes and badges and I admire the whole entire fandom world of Harry Potter. Secretly I am saving for the Harry Potter Chess set. If anyone is wanting to win my heart, you now know how.

You sit in an eager audience as if you’re sat in a room at Hogwarts, waiting for the magic to being. I was waiting for the staircases to move and the stage to transform. I was a little sad and disappointed that they didn’t use the original, famous score from the Harry Potter films, but it didn’t take anything away from the show. Really, I wanted to be in a boat sailing towards Hogwarts. Maybe this is an idea for an Immersive experience, or the studio tours? Maybe. You are also given a badge at the end of the performances which say “keep the secret” and I am trying. There may be some spoilers in here, but nothing so serious as to ruin or hinder your experience.

At the beginning of the show when the children are going to Hogwarts there is this amazing costume change where the actors spin and they marvellously go from their normal clothing into their Hogwarts robes. It is the small details like this that make this show a sell-out. As an audience, you’re waiting for these treats of stage magic to bring you into the world of magic. They create a sense of fascination and mystery. There is section where the actors travel through a telephone box; the actor disappeared. I cannot tell you how this is done, other than I was left speechless and the awes and gasps coming from the audience speak from themselves.

What stood out the most, for me, was the Dementors. Completely and utterly terrifying. They wholly brought my fear to life and after the show I questioned why they didn’t use these props/puppets in the films instead of CGI. They swept across the stage and into the audience and I genuinely felt a sense of anxiety; as if they were going to come suck out my soul. I was sat further back in the stalls, but if I had been at the front or front of the balcony, I may have screamed, a little. I bloody loved that fear though, they added a dimension to the show which I’m sure made the audience feel sucked into the story and they created a dark and looming atmosphere.

The acting was flawless. The classic threesome, Jamie Parker who plays Harry Potter, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley and Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, brought their own clever, interpretation to the characters as being adults and parents. Ron provides a comic relief, as always, Hermoine was sweet and sassy and the tension and angst mixed with love and compassion shone through in Harry. They were all a pleasure and entertaining to watch. One of the main relationships the audience are watching is, Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter and Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy. Their relationship on stage was like watching Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder from Brideshead Revisited, where their friendship is so lovingly strong and accepting that you question if they are physically attracted and in love with one another. This small hint, on purpose or not, was really inspiring on stage, and I was certainly intrigued and hopeful that their relationship, friendship or not grows and develops. Their friendship brought two conflicting families together as one uniting force. Their childlike, adventurous, bravery takes on the classic Stand by Me and Sam and Frodo bromance story, but with magic.

“If I had to choose a companion to be at the return of eternal darkness with, I’d choose you.” (Heart breaks)

The storyline cleverly includes the dangers of playing with time and the changing of history and answers a lot of the questions of “what could have happened if…” that readers and audiences have asked after reading the books and watching the films. Without giving too much away, the story is full of action, excitement, friendship, romance, drama and a crazy, surprising twist. There is a sense of fulfilment and closure at the end of this performance and I left the stage feeling whole and really annoyed at being a bloody muggle.

If you have the chance to see this show, please do. You’ll feel connected to the wizarding world of Harry Potter on a new level.

“Thank you for being my light in the darkness.”

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