Ensuring that I #KeepTheSecrets, this review is completely spoiler-free.
As many of you may already know, we had purchased the tickets for London’s production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child back on October 31, 2015 – the first day they were made available to the general public. The first, and best, available dates were in March 2017 so with 1.5 years in the making, it was finally time to claim our tickets at the box office for the show last week.
Nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts…
It was always difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.
– synopsis from the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book
I had opted to read the rehearsal script when it came out last year, for fear that it would get spoiled for me by others. I’m glad I had read it that long ago because I didn’t remember too much of it when seeing the play now. I truly had no set expectations going into the show. I had no idea how they would do the magic that was described in the story, and was excited to see that come to life on stage. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child exceeded any possible expectations I would have had. It was absolutely astonishing and, as Mail On Sunday is quoted on a sign outside the Palace Theatre “All the more mind-blowing for unraveling in the theatre, where the magic is real.” This is such an accurate statement. Even after watching both Parts One and Two, I am still hung up on something from the beginning of the play that left my jaw on the floor and truly set the tone of the production.
The actors and actresses who play Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Draco are exceptional. They exude the exact personalities that we have come to know and love from the books and films. Paul Thornley had such great comedic timing as Ron Weasley and Jamie Parker as Harry had such a commanding performance. I loved Paul’s dynamic with Noma, who plays Hermione. They were such a delight to watch on stage together. The two boys who play Albus and Scorpius had fantastic dynamic between each other. Along with Ron, Scorpius definitely shared the comedic elements in the play. The only one I felt that wasn’t quite as strong was the one who played Delphi. I always felt like she was proclaiming her lines and declaring! them! to! the! audience! All of her lines felt like it pulled me out of the magical world a bit, because the difference in delivery was so jarring.
Besides the magical elements which were used both subtly and more obviously throughout the play, I was equally mesmerized by the choreography of everything. The perfectly timed movements with scene changes, whether with people and props or actual set pieces, was a pleasure to watch it all click into place. The staging and technical aspects were truly a marvel as well. Such great use of the space and of all the set elements and props.
We had opted to see Part One and Two in the same day, and I’m glad for that. There’s no curtain call after Part One, so I wouldn’t know how that would play out if you were to see them on separate days. It would take you away from the setting and mood of the whole production so, if you can, I definitely recommend to see both on the same day. I can’t even begin to imagine what a marathon that is for the cast and crew, and to keep the parts separate in your head as they flip back and forth constantly from Part One and Part Two.
Overall, I (clearly) loved it. Given that the entire production is nearly 6 hours, I’m amazed at how quickly it moved along and captivated our attention the whole time. Perhaps the only part I felt the slowest was Act One of Part Two. For me, Part One was stronger and I enjoyed the first half more but that’s not to say I didn’t like Part Two as well. They’re very different in tone and Part Two certainly has its powerful moments that conclude the story. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child truly is a must-see performance and I’m so glad my persistence back in October 2015 paid off for us to see the original cast in this magnificent play.
Approximate run time:
Part One: 2pm start – 3 hours, including one intermission (interval)
Part Two: 7:30pm start – 2.5 hours, including one intermission (interval)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 /5 stars)
Opened: July 30, 2016
For tickets and more info: HarryPotterThePlay.com
— Michele (@JustALilLost) March 15, 2017