Harry Potter & the Cursed Child: The Play (SPOILER FREE REVIEW)

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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…

The actors

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!

The choreography

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…

Jade 🙂

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Harry Potter Book Tag

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Hello fellow bookworms! I haven’t done a tag post in a while, and it’s Thursday, so why not! I’ve been in such a Harry Potter mood recently with the 20th anniversary celebrations and September 1st ’19 Years Later’, and I’ve seen so many book-tubers and bloggers do this tag, I really want to give it a try myself…

Favourite Book

Up until a few weeks ago, I would have always answered this one with Goblet of Fire but I’ve recently done a re-read of Half Blood Prince and my favourite books are fluctuating…

Favourite Movie

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I used to have a tradition where I would watch Chamber of Secrets the night before my birthday every year! It’s strange because I’m a fan of neither spiders or snakes, but I loved this film.

Least Favourite Book

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Of course I don’t dislike any of the books, but if I had to choose one, Prisoner of Azkaban has the least Voldemort storyline progression.

Parts of the Books/Movies That Made You Cry

Are you ready for this list:

  • When Harry finds out he’s a wizard
  • When Harry first sees/arrives at Hogwarts
  • When Sirius says Harry can move in with him
  • Cedric’s death
  • Sirius’ death
  • Harry and Ginny’s first kiss
  • Dumbledore’s death
  • Dobby’s death
  • Fred’s death
  • Lupin’s death
  • Tonks’ death
  • EVERYONE DYING!
  • The end

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Favourite Character

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Hermione, of course! Her work ethic is so motivating, and she is such a relatable character. Hermione is the fictional character I would also want to be, or be friends with!

What would your Patronus be?

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I took the Pottermore test twice (accidentally on my friend’s account), and the first time I got a Dolphin, but the second time, on my profile, I was given a Mink. I’m very pleased with this, my favourite animal is an otter, and they’re similar animals, so I’m happy!

If you could choose a Hallow, which would you choose?

Definitely Invisibility Cloak! I wouldn’t want the pressure of having the Elder Wand, and the Cloak would come in handy a lot!

What House would you be in?

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Hufflepuff of course! I don;t think I could ever be anything else (apart from maybe a little bit of Ravenclaw…)

Have you played any of the video games?

Considering I can barely work an Xbox or turn on a Playstation, I’m gonna say no…

If you were on a Quidditch team, which position would you play?

SEEKER!

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Were you happy with the ending?

Yeah, I think so. There’s a few things I’m a bit iffy about (Albus Severus Potter, seriously Harry can you not be more imaginative?) but I can’t fault JK Rowling’s decisions.

How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

Too much to put into words!

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I hope you enjoyed today’s tag, and I would love to know some of your Harry Potter favourites in the comments below!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

 

Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone 20th Anniversary Celebration

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Every month, I will be posting under Time for Tea, a discussion post that explores current goings on, whether it’s in the book world, or life in general. I will try my best to make them relevant, as today’s post most definitely it…

June 26th 1997, a children’s book was published. Just a short book, about 200 pages long, about a boy who finds out he is a wizard. Not just any wizard, but one who, when he was only a child, survived a curse meant to kill him, causing a very dark wizard to vanish. As this young boy turns 11, he enters into the wizarding world, where a grand school called Hogwarts awaits, for him to explore and, in the years to come, be host to the young boy’s adventures of a lifetime. Who is this boy, you ask? Do you have to ask?

It’s Harry Potter!

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20 years ago, Bloomsbury took a chance on a woman who titled herself an author, who presented them with her children’s book which had been declined several times by other publishers. Now, not only is Harry Potter one of the biggest selling book series of all time, but it has become an extremely important book in society today, as I’m sure it will continue to be for many years to come. J.K. Rowling gave us the gift of Harry Potter, and for this, we are eternally grateful.

I know there will probably be a lot of Harry Potter related posts today, as part of the celebrations, so I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to praise, congratulate, and celebrate the beginning of Harry Potter by thinking about my favourite moments from the first book, and why they are so important for me. Please feel free to share your favourite moments from the first book, or the series, too!

My Top 5 Favourite Moments from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone…

5. The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters

I see this as the transition for Harry between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds. The journey is symbolic of many things, but one that really stands out to me is friendship. On this first train journey to Hogwarts, Harry and Ron end up together in a carriage because  “everywhere else is full”. These two wizards who are slightly socially awkward and a little bit overwhelmed by the newness and immense scale of what is happening, are brought together into the safe confines of a single carriage. It is here that we first see the importance of Harry and Ron’s friendship, that sets up their relationship through the rest of the books. It also attracts the attention of Hermione, who is helping Neville search for his toad. We get the impression that she is bossy, and a bit of a know-it-all, right from the beginning, and Ron attempting to do magic is like a magnet for her to show off her intelligence. She doesn’t seem to fit in at first with the two boys, but we all know that soon changes. This moment is the first in the book where the entire golden trio meet, and is the most important foundation for their relationship with each other to blossom and grow.

4. Christmas at Hogwarts

We know that Harry has been treated bad throughout his childhood at the Dursley’s house, so I find it so heart-warming when he wakes up on Christmas Day at Hogwarts to find presents at the end of his bed. He is so shocked that he is surrounded by people who care enough to give him gifts, and there is one gift in particular that really stands out to me (besides the incredible Cloak of Invisibility), and that is his first Weasley jumper! This resonates a lot with me because since joining Hogwarts, Harry has felt more and more like part of a family than he ever did with the Dursleys. Every year, the Weasley children receive these hand-knitted jumpers from their mother, and that is exactly what Harry gets when he unwraps this gift. It makes him feel like part of their family, and gives him hope that there are people out there that care for him a great deal more than he is cared for in the Muggle world. A very important part of the story for me, and it brings tears to my eyes whenever I read it.

3. Harry’s first Quidditch game

Quidditch is a way for Harry to access the wizarding world through something that runs in his blood; that he is naturally good at. When he starts his classes at Hogwarts, he didn’t realise how much hard work it is to cast a simple spell, or mix the perfect potion, but flying is something that comes naturally to Harry, and puts him in the spotlight in a way that isn’t related to his fame through Voldemort, but instead through how he is supporting Gryffindor House. I get butterflies in my stomach whenever I read the ‘Quidditch’ chapter, because it reminds me that even fictional characters get nervous, and to make me feel nervous for Harry is a sign of great writing on Rowling’s part.

2. First sighting of Hogwarts

“Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, it’s windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.”

This is the first time Harry gets a glimpse of his home, somewhere that will keep him safe for the next 7 years of his life, where he learn and grow as a wizard, and build long-lasting relationships with those who will help or hinder him on his journey. If I put myself in Harry’s shoes when he first spots the castle, I am overcome with both joy and nerves. This grand, amazing place is where I will be living for years to come, where I will confront my enemies and make the best friends I could ever have by my side. This is where my wizarding journey begins. Boy, this place is big, I am going to get so lost! So many thoughts must be going through Harry’s head at this moment, and as a reader, I get to experience all of them. After reading the entire series, and immersing myself in the story, Hogwarts has become my home, and every time I pick the book up again, I get the feeling of returning home after a holiday, or being at uni. That familiar feeling of seeing the place where you grew up, and where your family are, waiting to welcome you back.

1. “Harry- yer a wizard.”

My favourite moment in the entire book may be one of the most iconic. You can’t go move on with the Harry Potter story until the main character himself is aware that he is a wizard! As much as I know Harry is a wizard, I am still so moved when Hagrid tells him. Everything in his life suddenly makes sense, all the strange things that have happened to him, his scar, what happened to his parents; it is all made clearer for him in this single line. These words, spoken by Hagrid, really do change Harry’s life, and as soon as I put myself in Harry’s position, a wave of emotions crash over me: confusion, excitement, fear, trust. I think trust is one of the most important here, as we can see a transition between who he thought he could trust as his family, and who he is coming to trust as this strange half-giant who has just told him he is a wizard. As soon as Aunt Petunia confirms that what Hagrid is saying is indeed true, there is a complete shift in Harry’s trust, and this feeling towards Hagrid continues throughout the series. The fear and excitement seem to come as one, and greatly contradict each other. Harry is immensely excited when he finds out he’s going to be learning magic at (apparently) one of the greatest wizarding schools in the world, but he is also very scared that he will not be good enough, and will fail at what his parents once excelled at. There is also the looming fear of Voldemort, and as an extension of this scene, Harry is in this constant battle between the excitement of the world he has been tossed into, and the fear of having fame through a dark wizard who may or may not be dead. So as far as this quote from Hagrid is concerned, all I have to say for now is I wish a half-giant would turn up on my doorstep and hand me my Hogwarts letter while stating I’m a witch!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my top 5 favourite moments from the first Harry Potter books, and please feel free to share your favourite moments in the comments section. Whatever you are doing to celebrate your love and devotion to the Harry Potter books today, I hope you have an amazing day!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Weekly Wednesday Update #45

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 Hello fellow bookworms and welcome to another Weekly Wednesday Update! This week, I have only added one book to my TBR, but it’s quite a big thing at the moment, and I’ve been waiting to use this post to be able to talk about it (seeing as I had already written my post before the release was announced last week!) So without keeping you hanging much longer, here it is:

Currently Reading:

The Last Days of Summer (Vanessa Ronan)

I was hoping to have finished this by now, but it’s another one I’m struggling to pick up. Hoping to finish soon so I can get back on track!

 

New Additions to Goodreads Shelves:

To Be Read

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany

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IT’S HERE IT’S HERE IT’S FINALLY HERE! MUGGLES REJOICE!! Now before anyone says anything, I do understand that this is not a new Harry Potter novel, but the script to the upcoming play, but it is still an extension on the Harry Potter story and I am entirely grateful for that! When I found out I was honestly so so happy we would get to read and discover the play even if, like myself, we were not able to see the play. I’m not gonna lie, I did almost cry, happy tears, with a massive face-splitting smile on my face jumping around the room like I was high on caffeine. For those of you who may not have seen it, here’s the description for the book:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016 

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 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. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

There are so many things that we could expect from this book, so many turns that the story could take, but we all know one thing is for sure, it’s bound to be AMAZING!

You can pre order your copy in plenty of places, I’m sure a bookshop near you will be all over this! Release date is Harry’s Birthday 2016!

Upcoming Reviews

Unless I manage to finish/decide to start a new book alongside what I am currently reading, tomorrow’s post will be on standby, but I will be posting my review of my current read as soon as possible!

All cover photos taken from Goodreads. Click on a book cover to see its Goodreads profile.

Harry Potter Moment of the Week #3

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So I’ve missed or week or so of these posts coming up to Christmas, but I thought I would treat you all to another installment of Harry Potter Moment of the Week. The meme is hosted by Uncorked Thoughts, so if you get the chance then go and check out her wonderful blog and take part in the Harry Potter Moment of the Week if you fancy!

The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object, quote etc. from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! Each topic will be posted on this page for the week.

Topic of the Week: Recommend a book to Ron

This is quite difficult for me, because I feel like I read books that Ron wouldn’t necessarily read himself. If I had to, I would probably tell him to read something like The Hunger Games, because I just feel like that’s something Ron might vaguely enjoy aha!

What book would you recommend that Ron reads?

 

Happy Thursday and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

Harry Potter Moment of the Week #2

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So I’ve missed or week or so of these posts coming up to declines and what not, but I am finished (partly) for now so I thought I would treat you all to another installment of Harry Potter Moment of the Week. The meme is hosted by Uncorked Thoughts, so if you get the chance then go and check out her wonderful blog and take part in the Harry Potter Moment of the Week if you fancy!

The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object, quote etc. from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! Each topic will be posted on this page for the week.

Topic of the Week: Rename the books from Hermione’s point of view

Hermione Granger and The Time I Knew More Than Everyone Else Even Though I Grew Up With Muggles

Hermione Granger and I Spend Half This Book Petrified and the Other Half As a Cat

Hermione Granger and I Knew You Were a Werewolf

Hermione Granger and The Society for the Protection on Elfish Welfare

Hermione Granger and Oh My Gosh I’m a Prefect

Hermione Granger and I’m Not The Best at Potions Anymore

Hermione Granger and The Time I Spent Months in a Magical Tent Hunting Pieces of The Dark Lord’s Soul

 

This was quite difficult one, I tried to make them funny as well as relevant to the story, but it really is hard when the books mainly focus on Harry (obviously!) Anyway, I hope you liked it and hopefully I’ll be able to do another post next week 🙂

Happy Thursday and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂