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Saturday 30 July 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Spoiler Free Review

I have, this minute, returned from a Waterstones Midnight Release Party for the play script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, so it feels like perfect timing to release this review of the play. Do not worry, it is spoiler free. As it has gone midnight, I'm going to hug the book and go to bed, but tomorrow I may will edit this post to include some of my favourite quotes. But have no fear! They will be signposted and hidden, so that you can choose whether to read them. If you've just recieved your copy - enjoy!


On the 1st and 2nd of July I was so unbelievably lucky to be able to attend previews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I know I am very lucky to have been able to go, for lots of different reasons. Firstly, I know that only a limited number of people can even think about getting tickets; I live in London so am blessed when it comes to being able to stroll into a new Harry Potter story. However, even for people who live here, it's not that easy. This comes into 'reasons for being grateful' number two. Back when the tickets were released, my group of University friends were all together; we were at a friends house and weren't really able to try to get tickets. We'd all resigned ourselves to this fact, but were hopeful that the play would be successful enough for more tickets to be released in the future. Well, one friend actually postponed coming to meet us because she tried to get us all tickets. Twice she got to the paying section (after queueing online for hours), and twice the internet crashed. By the time she met us, she was a wreck and hadn't been able to get tickets.

Then, two months later, when I was actually abroad with another friend, another, completely separate friend Whatsapped me to tell me she had a spare ticket and would I like it. Of course, I said yes, whilst screaming in the streets of Budapest. Many weird looks were given. Amazingly, another ticket became available, so I was able to also invite the friend who tried so hard to get me a ticket on the release date.

Fast forward two and a half more months, and I cannot tell you how excited I was. A child in my class had unbelievably gone to the first preview performances, and loved it. He was dedicated to 'keeping the secret', and didn't even tell me that he'd enjoyed it until I had finally been (we then had a lengthy discussion about the show, and considering the child was nine, it was pretty detailed!).

So...I have seen the show. It's in fact now one month since I saw the show, but I could not write the review until now. Even though this is a spoiler free review, I didn't want to say anything until the script was at least available.

First things first, what did I think of the plot? Well, I loved it. I can't really say much without giving spoilers, obviously, but I can tell you, it begins exactly where The Deathly Hallows leaves off. Most closely linked to the plot is the script. This is the reason I couldn't really post this review until today. Having seen the play during the preview stage, there are still parts that could change. I also need to be able to look at the script to recall favourite lines, although I did jot things down on my phone at the end of the play. I'll try to link to some of my favourite quotes once I know the page numbers, or perhaps they'll be written below in white font, so you have to highlight them to read them? We'll see!

Now, this play wouldn't be half as amazing if it wasn't for the actors. I can tell you right now that Noma, Jamie and Paul are Hermione, Harry and Ron. They are truly incredible, and play their roles so well. Poppy and Alex are also incredible as Ginny and Draco, with Poppy holding onto all of book Ginny's fiery personality, and Alex playing Draco exactly how we'd imagine him to be 19 years later. When it comes to 'the next generation', Anthony and Sam are true stars as Scorpius and Albus. They are incredibly talented, and I have to say I left the play loving them. I don't know how much more I can say without spoiling the plot, but all the cast were incredible.

The set was simplistic and amazing. Down to the tiniest on-stage items, to the staircases and beds, up to the frame around the stage and the decor in The Palace theatre, everything screamed Hogwarts but wasn't over the top. There is a special moment in Part Two when you release just how seriously amazing the set designers are. Actually, these moments happen throughout both parts but aaaaaaah no spoilers!!

I think some people were concerned as to how the magic of Hogwarts could be bought to the stage without CGI, or the play feeling like a cheesy magician magic show. Well, I don't know how they did it (quite literally) but watching the play was actually like seeing Harry Potter magic in real life. I've had so many chats with friends who have also seen the play, and I can't work it out how they made certain things happen. Obviously, there is great set design and lighting, which really helped with the atmosphere, but holy moly, I think the special effects were some of the most amazing parts of the show.

Finally, the music. Imogen Heap led this, and she is one of my favourite musicians so I was very excited. Don't worry, it's not a musical! Imogen lends her brilliant, hypnotic notes to the play, making it atmospheric, and causing me to nearly cry whenever her songs came onto my spotify playlist. To truly get a vibe of the music, I recommend listening to the instrumental versions of 'The Walk', 'Closing in and, 'Just for now'. When you watch some of the videos from the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child website, you can hear a few of the tunes playing in the background.

As you can probably tell, I absolutely loved the play, and therefore rate it 1000000/ 10 ! I'm going to attempt to queue up to see it again, as apparently last minute returns are sometimes released on the night. Wish me luck! And remember, Keep the Secrets!

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