Seven spoiler-free musings on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I was one of the extremely privileged Potterheads who got the chance to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child during its very first nights in previews this week. It was everything I could have wanted and more! I laughed and I cried, I gasped and applauded along with the audience of fortunate fans (an audience we shared with our queen JK Rowling herself!!) and I jumped to my feet in the loudest, most immediate, theatre-wide standing ovation I have ever experienced!
It was without a doubt the best play I have ever seen. Admittedly this is partly due to my intense love of Harry Potter and the monumental place it has held in my life since my 11th birthday, but not entirely. While I think it would definitely be more enjoyable for a Potter fan, it is also an excellent piece of theatre in and of itself.
Over the last few days I have written over ten pages of general musings about the play but naturally they are completely spoilericious! Acknowledging JK Rowling’s pleas to #KeepTheSecrets, I have compiled some spoiler free musings to share, for those interested.
1. Magic is alive and well! And so is the Potter fandom! The excitement before the first show was palpable, both outside the theatre along with all the press and inside with our new friends, our neighbours for the two upcoming nights of magic. There was such a beautiful sense of community as we smiled at familiar faces on the second night and shared our theories of what would happen next during the intervals. The communal gasps at a big reveal, the cheers when something we always wanted to happen actually happened, the excitement and applause when we noticed Jo in the audience (before she adorably put her fingers to her lips and pointed at the stage, “this isn’t about me” she silently told us.) It was everything I love about the Harry Potter fandom. It took me right back to that same nervous and giddy anticipation of midnight book parties and movie premieres. The magic is truly alive and kicking and it is here to stay.
2. One of my immediate reactions was ‘this must have cost a fortune to produce’. The stunts and special effects… no that doesn’t give them the justice they deserve… the magicis out of this world! There are spells and duels, floo powder and polyjuice potion. I still have no idea how they pulled some of it off! Going into more detail will edge into spoiler territory so all I will say is it is really and truly MAGICAL!
3. I totally fancy Albus Potter – it’s ok I googled it – he’s 22 in real life, only 5 years younger than me… grand! I also heard he may have a thing for older women! He’s also a great actor! But also just so cute! I also quite fancy 40 year old Harry. Yes both father and son, one or the other or both. Draco is also a bit of a dish! (We saw him without the white hair at the stage door after.) Yes lots of hotness! I dunno, maybe I just fancy their magic or their magical surnames… I could totally be Siobhán Potter! Or Siobhán Malfoy or… Okay moving swiftly on!
4. Ginny is amazing! Strong, feisty, funny and a proper match for Harry. Very believably an older version of badass book Ginny. None of that wet blanket, limp biscuit, boring movie Ginny. Thank Dumbledore
5. Hermione is so on point and just completely perfect! I personally never doubted that she would be because she got the Rowling seal of approval but there was a lot of speculation that the colour of her skin would somehow make her less Hermione. I honestly didn’t even notice or find it unusual that she was black even though while reading the books I always imagined her as… well… me, and therefore white. She was so totally Hermione in every single scene; complete and utter know it all with big bushy hair (which was my one issue with Emma Watson’s slightly wavy haired Hermione… I had way frizzier hair and hence would have made a much better Hermione obviously! But now I admit defeat, Noma’s hair is way bushier than mine, and her Hermione is also superb!)
6. They really nailed the “feel” of it. It’s hard to put into words… it was like a perfect cake with all the right ingredients. The script captures the original themes of friendship and love. The characters really are the ones we knew and loved, all grown up. The stage sets were stunning, the stunts were sensational. The music, composed by Imogen Heap, is absolutely gorgeous and so fitting! I’m really excited to read the script to remember the ins and outs of the story but more than anything, I just can’t wait to see the live production again (whenever tickets are available again!) It truly is pure magic!
7. I actually think I may have liked it more than the movies! Don’t get me wrong, I love the movies and rewatch them over and over. And over! Yet as much as I love them, they could never have fully captured my own imagination’s interpretation of the books. But with Cursed Child, it is an entirely new story with the same beloved characters, and their kids who are just as lovable as the original trio. It is a story I never thought I would get to hear. When I read the concluding lines “All was well” I thought the rest of their story would live on only in my imagination. I am sure there are those who would prefer for it to stay that way, to let Book Eight be something that remains a personal story in their own heads and that is fine. However for me, this beautiful new story in Harry’s life has given me the chance to jump right back into the magic of the Wizarding World. Who am I kidding? I never really left! And now the Cursed Child is joining the official canon of my favourite story of all time. The Pottermania continues, the excitement continues, the magic continues!
Peace out, Potterheads!