Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I remember the first movie coming out and experiencing my first taste of disapproval from my mother. (Okay, okay… not my first, I was going for a dramatic nostalgic effect)
She was sat at our dedicated chair for the phone; a phone seat if you will. Talking to my nan, telling her that I had been to see Philosopher’s Stone four times.
I thought it was funny to correct her; I held up 6 digits proudly. Uh oh; big mistake. At the time, I boiled it down to ‘wasting’ money, but I think it was more about the fact that she hadn’t known where I was. It begged the question; what else was I doing? (Literally, nothing)
So, what would my dear mother make of me seeing Cursed Child six times with a seventh already booked? Aside from the fact that she would be having kittens with me living in London in the current climate… yeah, I wouldn’t be telling you how many times I’d seen it.
Why is it a show that I keep going back to? Am I a Dumbledore; blinded by love of Potter? Am I someone who just can’t say no, or is there something more to this theatrical production?
The story starts at that famous (infamous to some) epilogue; Harry is seeing his two sons off to Hogwarts.
Albus Severus Potter is our protagonist for Cursed Child and we are taken on his adventure; making friends, fixing problems of the past and finding his way out of his father’s heavy shadow. He’s helped along the way by Scorpius Malfoy who also has a cross to bear and issues with his father and Delphi; a woman who helps them on their quest.
It’s trade mark Potter with some wonderful reveals and surprises, and I would advise anyone who has yet to see it, to avoid reading the script.
There were so many of the cast that were spot on that I was incredibly worried about when the production planned to recast. The core three were brilliant and Jamie Parker particularly as Harry Potter was dream casting in the highest regard.
However, my special mentions have to go to Alex Price and Anthony Boyle who played Draco and Scorpius respectively. They were amazing, Boyle’s Scorpius was a comic genius and the geek in us all. Never have I ever fallen in love with a literary character so quickly. His pain and passion billowed off the stage in waves.
Price As Draco put the character in a whole new light. I did have an understudy for one performance and it was at that point I realised Alex Price Was MY Draco. Not only that, I had a bit of a crush on Draco.
Second Cycle Cast
Again, a very strong cast with too many people to mention. However, I will explore my favourites.
Both Thomas Aldridge and Rakie Ayola as power couple Ron and Hermione were a particular favourite of mine; while one scene in the ministry fell flat at the performance for me, they give their all and that scene perhaps pales because of how well the previous actors played the parts.
Aldridge wins my heart for his ability to change my opinion of his incarnation. When I saw the cast announced, I was adamant he wasn’t Ron. I was gladly mistaken; he had the humour, charm and flaws of an adult Weasley. While my crush has not wavered from Draco, despite the change of actor, there’s a little bit of love now there for Ron too.
Anyone in doubt of the casting of Hermione just need to see the beautiful, wonderful Ayola in the role. Noma Dumezweni did indeed do a grand job, but for me Ayola Is the embodiment of Hermione. She has the firmness that Noma presented, but she balances this with a softer expression of knowledge the passion.
Samuel Blenkin as Scorpius is excellent, especially considering the large shoes he had to fill. I was a bit concerned at the beginning and was worried that he would over play the nervousness. Boy, was I wrong. The first act of the second part can sometimes feel like the weakest part of the whole play; however, Blenkin adds something I can’t put my finger on. It’s wonderfully refreshing.
Production (music, set, costume, lighting)
All of the production is of the highest quality I’ve ever seen in a play. At times, it is like seeing literal magic on the stage; sets change seamlessly making the most of props and costumes to add flare to the proceedings.
The lighting is something to marvel; it hides as much as it reveals and allows you to immerse yourself in the world. Just keep your eye out for a battle between Harry and Draco; it’s every fan’s dream.
The music, Instrumental editions of songs by Imogen Heap are stunning and immersive. Those of you expecting J Williams’ iconic tune will be sorely disappointed, but there is no place for it amongst the emotive melodies