SPOILERS for plot but not special effects.
They’re not even really spoilers, just my general reaction to all the feels.
On the whole, if you haven’t read the script or already spoiled yourself elsewhere, I recommend stopping here.
Skip to the bottom of the post for some bullet points of my favorite stuff if you’re too lazy to read the whole thing. I won’t blame you. I probably would.
As it turns out, I am pretty defensive about the Wizarding World. When the Cursed Child script released and everyone had a field-day bashing it, I tweeted angrily about how we had all begged and begged for more Potter, but when Jo gave it to us, it wasn’t ~what we wanted~. Are you kidding me? Babies. But that’s a different blog post for t a different day.
The point is, I loved the idea of the Cursed Child. I loved that it was a play, I loved that they were releasing the script. I loved it all. I loved it even more once I read the script.
My biggest complaint about people’s complaints is how everyone who criticized CC claims the Golden Trio + Draco are “out of character”. Let me clear up something real quick. The last time we see these characters is when they ARE SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD! They’re middle aged now for Christ sake. Are you the same now as you were two decades ago? Nope.
The rest of the complaints are petty. Of course it’s not as fleshed out as the Potter series. IT. IS. A. PLAY. It can’t be! Of course reading the script won’t translate the entirety of the subtext, meaning, and feeling. It’s like telling someone they have to eat a slice of pizza, but they can’t do it with their mouth. Wut. It was meant to be a play, not a book. Of course it isn’t accessible. That’s not how plays work. I’m sorry, I know it sucks and I will complain right alongside you, but you cannot blame this story, its cast/writers/producers for the fact that all plays are generally pretty unaccusable.
If I go on much longer, I’ll write six-thousand words on how ungrateful the Harry Potter fandom is, so I’m going to stop while I’m ahead, okay?
The whole reason I’m even writing this post is because I *visibly refrains from screeching* saw the Cursed Child. Yep. I bought tickets in October 2015 and thought, well, I better start saving for a plane ticket. I bought those in May 2016, and on January 4th, 2017, I finally saw it.
If I had to say only once sentence about the entire show it would be this: Can cloaks be cool to wear?
YOU GUYS. I’ll start from the beginning, a very good place to start.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is hosted in the Palace Theater right on Shaftsbury Avenue in London. Walking around the corner and seeing that giant sign for the first time brought actual tears to my eyes. I sucked them back in though, because I wasn’t about to start crying that soon.
From here on out, I am going to describe some of the plot, characters, and sets, but I won’t go into much detail just because #KeepTheSecrets and whatnot.
The inside of the theater is imposing enough, but the stage setting for Act One is gorgeous. There is a stunning arch of waxing and waning moons across the top front of the stage and we see light streaming through a window onto suitcases.
I spent a lot of time looking at that set, because I was in the balcony and my seat had “restricted legroom” which means you’re going to leave after Part I being paralyzed from the waist down. What was that? Pics or it didn’t happen? See below.
This is the Harry Potter universe we’re talking about here so I wasn’t surprised when over the loud speaker came a voiceover warning us to turn off all muggle technology. The voiceover for each beginning was different and equally entertaining.
I want to talk a little bit about casting because I know it’s a bit of a tentative subject. I wanted to see the entire original cast because I was literally traveling half-way around the globe JUST to see this play. I got what I wanted, and every main character was played by their original actors.
I know it’s not a popular thought, but I think each character was casted absolutely perfectly. I never questioned once if Noma or Paul or Jamie were Hermione, Ron, and Harry. They embodied all of their mannerisms and characteristics to a T. We don’t know Albus or Scorpius, but I ~felt~ enraptured by Sam and Anthony’s portrayal. They glided seamlessly into my canon without any hesitation.
I had built Scorpius up to great heights in my mind and Anthony did NOT disappoint. When he first spoke, I was a little startled because he uses a very particular voice. It doesn’t sound natural at first, almost like someone trying to make a funny voice for a child’s amusement. Quite frankly, for the first five minutes, I didn’t like it. Then we got to see more of Scorpius. I saw his ticks (biting nails, adjusting shirt, pulling sleeves down, smoothing hair behind ears, etc) and the voice made sense to me for his character. Loveable and a little odd.
Reading the script, I was wholly unimpressed with Albus Severus Potter. Sam, on the other hand, made me want to marry him. I HAVE NEVER LOVED ANGSTY CHARACTERS BUT OOOOOO BOY. Imagine Harry during Half-Blood Prince and turn the sassy angst up by about 700%. That’s Albus.
The first act included some seriously bad-ass cloak and suitcase choreography. It made me literally squeal out loud. I also clearly recognized Imogen Heap’s music and it reminded me how excited I was that she composed for this. Jamie got kind of yell-y as Harry and I didn’t know how much I would love that but after he did it I realize that’s exactly how I picture middle-aged-dad-Harry. By intermission, I decided I would re-read the Potter series and try to find book Ron as attractive as Paul makes play Ron.
Act II was half-way over before I went slightly insane over how much I hated Delphi. I might hate her more than Umbridge? Yeah, I know.
ALEX APPRECIATION MOMENT because he made Draco a complete ass without making me hate him. I truly believed in the Draco that Astoria saw and Scorpius wanted to see.
At intermission, I caved and bought a playbill because I was bound and determined to get something signed and I forgot my script in Ohio. It was five pounds but since you’re there for two separate shows it’s more like two-fifty a piece (shut up, that’s how I’m justifying it to myself). I also perused and purchased from the kiosk. They had some nifty little items like pins, pens, pencles, lanyards, etc. for those who wanted to spend a little less money. There were also plenty of larger items like t-shirts, house merchandise, etc. I think they did a really great job of providing a range of things to purchase for a range of interests and prices.
Pro tip: There’s a McDonald’s right across the street so you don’t have to buy over-priced theater district food. If you want something a little nicer though, I recommend Palpo’s which is also right across the street. The spaghetti and meatballs are great and were served in less than three minutes after ordering.
Oh wait. That’s not what we were talking about either. Whoops.
Part II involved a lot of ~wow~ moments with the special effects but I was once again taken with how REAL Jamie made Harry. He knows he’s messed up and he’s afraid he’s put the world in danger, again. His conversation with Dumbledore’s portrait makes me SCREAMMMMM with tears. It was my first cry of the show. I was proud I had made it this far.
I don’t know how to address the Scorbus because I’m 99% convinced that Anthony and Sam are a real-life couple. Act II solidifies this. Especially the library scene. Anthony makes me giddier than a five-year-old when he gets close to Sam. I could feel the chemistry from the balcony. I fully believe they ship Scorbus and tease the audience with it. They did it so well that I walked in not shipping Scorbus and left obsessively shipping Scorbus.
I wanted to like the actress playing Delphi, but she was a little forgettable. I wouldn’t have wanted to pay attention to her had I not already known the significance of her character. It may have just been an off night, and I didn’t ~not~ like her, but she was unspectacular. That’s not a good thing when playing Voldemort’s daughter.
FREAKING PAUL AS RON THOUGH YOU GUYS I CANNOT SAY THAT ENOUGH HE IS THE EPITOME OF CASTING GOALS AND I 100% BELIEVED EVERY SECOND OF HIS PORTRAYAL.
Side note: Earlier in the play when Scorpius, Albus, and Delphi polyjuice into Hermione, Ron, and Harry, I WAS SHOOK. Jamie, Paul, and Noma deserve every award imaginable for portraying Anthony, Sam, and Esther Smith. The transformation was so real that I was worried Jamie, Paul, and Noma couldn’t pull off the younger three well enough to continue the charade but THEY PROVED ME SO WRONG.
Back to chronological order, act four had me a hot mess. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that hard in my life. I knew it was coming, but I was super unprepared for how real it all felt for me to see. Sam and Jamie clutching onto each other like if they let go the world would fall apart wrenched my heart open and I sobbed (no, I’m not exaggerating, I literally and loudly sobbed) as we heard Lilly and James be murdered.
Oy. I don’t even know how I made it through, honestly.
Afterwards I sprinted (once again I am super not exaggerating, I literally RAN out the exit and around the building) to the stage door. There was a queue roped up and I WAS FIFTH IN LINE YOU GUYSSSSSSS!! I met every main cast member besides Alex and Jamie (brb while I go sob), and most supporting cast members. Everyone signed my playbill and let me be straight with you: they were all unbelievably, absolutely, wholly, and purely kind. Noma was especially grateful and so sincere when responding to compliments. It blew me away.
- THE INTRO MUSIC OMG IMOGEN HEAP SLAYS ME
- I highly considered leaving the show and immediately buying a suitcase and cloak because woahhhhh
- The chorographers are A+ hard workers because that rotating floor piece would have freaked me up
- The first set change had me shook because the background characters used their swishing cloaks to hide chairs/suitcases/tables/any prop and MAKING IT DISAPPEAR
- Seeing Harry sign someone’s stomach at King’s Cross had be LOLing so hard I got dirty looks from the lady beside me
- “It’s me, I’m incredibly famous.” PAUL YOU KILL ME WITH THIS LINE BECAUSE RON WOULD SOOOO SAY IT
- Harry is still so angsty as an adult and Ginny is all, “Stop they’re just your kids not rabid animals yo”
- How many times can I say I love Anthony Boyle? He looks up into the light and now I know what people mean when they say someone looks angelic.
- SAM HAS GOT SOME LEAN MUSICLE ON HIM OOO BOY there is actual water involved in this play and I almost fainted
- Every time Albus and Scorpius hugged I was all “ADJKNGEURNEK” in real life
- Draco LOVES Scorpius and Alex conveys that so well that if I didn’t know better I’d say Anthony was really his son
- Oy now I’m thinking about Anthony again
- But Draco with a pony tail tho
- THE MOVING STAIRCASES AND THE ANGST SCENE BETWEEN ALBUS AND SCORPIUS MADE ME HYPERVENTALITE IT WAS MY FAVORITE SCENE IN THE ENTIRE PLAY THIS IS NOT A DRILL
- Imogen Heap’s Half Life plays and YALL FREAK ME UP RIGHT NOW OH MY LORD IT BROKE ME
- The actual worst part of the play was Umbridge’s laugh. It wasn’t Umbridgey at all. Boo.
- Voldemort was hella scary tho
- SPEAKING OF SCARY THOSE DEMENTORS AMIRITE?????
- The amount of respect I have for those actresses is through the roof
- As far as acrobats go, the demeanors were amazingly terrifying but Moaning Myrtle was the literal embodiment of myself except the being psychically fit part
- She was on a wheel on the sink and flirted the crap out of Albus and Scorpius and was basically a smol fangirl and I was in hysterics
- Delphi’s pony-tail is goals
- But not as goals as Draco’s
- WAIT I FORGOT TO MENTION THE TROLLY WITCH
- And Sam and Anthony’s acting when on top of a moving train !!!!!!!!!!!! I AM DEAD
- At one point Anthony was on all fours gripping the train and bouncing comically and I was ROLLING I tell you ROLLING with laughter
- I am not convinced that Albus’ “I liked her Mum, I really liked her.” was necessary because we got like a millisecond of him pining for Delphi and it just didn’t feel worth it, yah know??
- I WANT A BABY
- OR A HOLIDAY
- I WANT A BABY OR A HOLIDAY
- How does Alex still look hot while sliding out of a fireplace? The world may never know.
- Noma is my Hermione hands down like woahhhhh could we have gotten a better actress in a million years??? I think not
- My geekiness is a-quivering
- ANTHONY DOING FINGER PISTOLS
- JUMPING FORWARD to my fave part which was meeting the cast
- I’ve never ran so fast in my life to be in the front of a line
- PAID OFF THO
- “Awh, thanks, love! Cheers!” WORDS THAT ANYTHONY BOYLE ACTUALLY SAID TO MY FACE WHILE LOOKING INTO MY EYES WITH THE MOST BOYISH OF GRINS TO EVER GRIN
- Noma being so grateful for compliments even though she renowned and otherworldy talented just fills my hear like what even is she? Not human, that’s what
- A unicorn, that’s what she is.
- I told Paul he made the entire play and he was just like “akjfvkajv thank you so much” AND I DON’T THINK HE GETS TOLD THIS ENOUGH GOD HE IS PRECIOUS
- Sam is even more handsome up close. I know, it’s hard to believe, but you’ve got to trust me on this. I was almost blinded by his attractiveness.
- BUT BACK TO THE CLOAKS LIKE WHATTTTTTTTTT I need one plz