Hello fellow bookworms! I was lucky enough to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on this Sunday just gone, and it was absolutely fantastic! I’d been planning for a while to do a review of the play once I’d seen it, and how it compares to reading the script, so here I am and that’s what I’ll be doing in today’s post. This will be spoiler free, so you don’t have to worry about seeing anything you don’t want to, I will be ‘keeping the secrets’!
How is the play different from reading the script?
When I first read the script, I read it in one sitting, and while I followed the story, I didn’t really absorb as much information as I should have done, and I just remembered it being a little bit wacky for a Harry Potter story. I was excited to see the play, but a little bit wary as to how I would feel about the eighth story afterwards. I must say that seeing the play really brought the script to life, and there was so much more behind the characters than you get from reading it. With a book, there is life behind a character with the depth of description, but with a scrip, it is harder to convey this in writing, and rely on seeing the play to see how the characters really should be acting. The story made so much more sense seeing it on the stage, and seemed less out-of-this-world. I can’t quite place my finger on why…
I saw the second West End cast, with Jamie Glover as Harry Potter, Tom Mackley as Albus, Samuel Blenkin as Scorpius, and Thomas Aldridge and Rakie Ayola as Ron and Hermione, and I must say this cast was magnificent! In terms of my favourites, Scorpius was a completely transformed character for me! I liked his character when reading the script, but there was so much life and depth behind his character on stage it added that hilarity that the play needed. Snape as well, while a fairly minor character in the play, I just thought was so accurate to Snape from the original books and movies. Moaning Myrtle also deserves an honourable mention, because I honestly thought it was the same actress straight out the movies it was so accurate!
I was not expecting so much movement throughout the performance. I thought is very clever how stage hands were not hidden, but were wizards and witches in robes, which just added to the already magical atmosphere. There were sections of extravagant movement to set the scene, with cloaks swishing and the synchronicity was perfect! This was possibly one of my favourite elements in the performance, because it was just that additional something that made the performance really special!
The special effects
We were all wondering ‘how are they going to do magic on stage’? The special effects, while it was easy to predict what was being done, made the magic feel magical. Of course, wires were used for floating, even though they were barely visible, and pyrotechnics were cleverly positioned to represent a spell bursting from the tip of a wand. The scene in the lake at the end of Part 1 was done particularly well, with the illusion of swimming executed perfectly by the actors, with the help of set design and lighting. The lighting was well placed throughout the play, with sections of dark stage to aid the illusion of floating while the focus was brought to the front of the action.
Well there’s not much more I can say really without spoiling it apart from ‘GO AND SEE THE CURSED CHILD’! Even if you weren’t mad on the script I definite recommend it if you get the chance because you get so much more out of the play! Let me know if you’ve seen it and what your thoughts were, or your opinions on reading the script!
Until next time…