THIS IS A DISCLAIMER: THE HASHTAG #KeepTheSecrets IS DIRECTED AT THE VIEWERS WHO HAVE SEEN THE PLAY LIVE. IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PLEASE AVOID READING THIS BLOG POST, AS IT CONTAINS MANY SPOILERS, AND TRUST ME, IT WILL RUIN THE EXPERIENCE IF YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE THEATRE.
If you haven’t guessed from my Harry Potter inspired tattoo, I am a HUGE Potterhead. I always have been and I feel like it’s just one franchise I will never grow out of – I’ve read all the books, played the games, watched all the movies, (Fantastic Beasts included) and I have A LOT of merchandise, however, one thing I hadn’t done is see the Cursed Child on stage – again, I had read the play and the plot really intrigued me but there was never time or money to see it, that is until a month ago…
The idea first arose during mine and Jarrod’s birthday, from his sister and her husband, but we didn’t actually book the tickets until late March/early April. A hotel was booked, a taxi was booked to take us to Havant train station and we were ready to go to London.
Once we arrived in Waterloo, it was, obviously, a dramatic change in atmosphere – from sleepy Emsworth to bustling London – but I think that when you’re used to one setting, either rural or urban, it’s always nice to have a bit of a change for a couple of days. I’ve spent my whole life living in a rural setting, so it’s always exciting when I go to London, or just cities in general.
The Park Plaza Hotel along Westminster Bridge was the hotel we stayed at, and once we had arrived, I couldn’t believe how nice it was. It was a very modern hotel; lots of black glass, with bright coloured lights, and posh furniture; intricate art of women molded into the glass. It was quite a dark hotel (well, foyer aside) but it gave a cosy feeling to it which I liked very much. We checked in our bags and we made our way to the Palace Theatre where the play was being performed.
You couldn’t miss it, with the huge ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ lettering and the nest with the child in the middle of it, the same as the front cover of the stage play script. The show was actually split into two parts. The first half was shown at one o’clock and the second half was shown at six o’clock. We had made it just in time, with about five or ten minutes to spare for the first half. Jarrod and I sat down in our allocated seats, sweating from the rushing through crowds of people, wearing thick layers (it was rather cold that weekend!). Once the announcement addressing the audience as ‘muggles’ echoed through the auditorium, telling us to switch off our mobile phones, the show began.
If you have read the script, you will already know what the plot is about. However, when seeing it being performed, it is not about the plot, it is about the special effects, the props, the characterisation, the emotion. The plot suddenly seems to be an insignificant detail. The magic is the most important part and to portray spells live on stage, takes some skill. It was magnificent – furniture levitated, fireworks shot from the wands, sound effects reverberated around the theatre. It was purely magical.
After the first half, we stopped for some food at Steak & Co. during the few hours we had spare, and before we knew it, we were back at the Palace Theatre, excited for the rest of the play. The dementors were one of the best parts, but also the creepiest. They had cloaked actors flying around the auditorium and stage, and the sounds they made were bloody terrifying. At one point Jarrod and I both had our hands on our ears because we’re a pair of wimps! Towards the end of the show, there was a part where the cast arrived at Delphie’s room (ultimately, the antagonist) and not only did the walls on stage light up with writing, but the walls throughout the auditorium did as well. It was a cool effect. However, the effect that completely floored me was the telephone box into the ministry. You see a cloaked figured walking into the box, the voice says “Welcome, (the name of the person going to the ministry)” and the cloak is sucked into the telephone like a vacuum and the person is gone. For a split second, I actually thought the person had been sucked into the phone – the effect was that good.
Overall, the whole play was wonderful. It had a beautiful soundtrack (which I downloaded on my phone shortly afterwards) it was incredibly funny – the actors who played Ron and Scorpius were hilarious – it was so gripping to watch, and most importantly it was fascinating. It made you wonder how on earth they could make everything so realistic. If you are Harry Potter mad, a sucker for special effects, and read this blog post anyway, despite my disclaimer at the beginning, I would totally recommend to go and see this play. I promise you, you won’t regret it.
A huge thank you to Jarrod’s parents for organising this trip. I couldn’t be more grateful.