On Sunday, for my Christmas present, Abi and I went to the Palace Theatre to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, parts one and two. At the request of J.K Rowling herself, this review will #KeepTheSecrets because it really is a show best going into without any spoilers.
The play begins where the films finished, at Kings Cross Station 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts and with Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione waving their own kids off Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The only synopsis released (below) teases at the story and builds up the anticipation of the audience, wondering quite how the story will unfold.
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.
Without going into the details of how, what and why, I can tell you that the both parts of the play were immense. Having seen Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) in a number of things previously, I can safely say he lived up to the high standards he has set, whilst the play in general felt very well cast. As much as some of the adults were a little predictable, the ‘children’ really stole the show from an acting point of view. The story was very true to the Harry Potter world and it was evident that J.K. Rowling had been involved in the writing process.
However, the moments that will truly stick in your memory are the use of the special and practical effects. Some effects, whilst still visually pleasing, were easier to work out. Others left you gasping at how intricate or imaginative they were. But what really got me were the effects that you do not realise whilst they are happening, and you suddenly have a “wait, what?!?” moment when you realise something amazingly tricksy just happened right before your eyes.
If you get the opportunity to, I strongly recommend you go see it. I would not call myself a die hard fan of the series, whilst I have seen all the films and have visited the Warner Bros Harry Potter Stduio Tour, these were in the company of Abi and I stopped reading the books at book five. The play though, was mesmerizing and funny and shocking and emotional. I think the best way to see if is all in one day. And with the travel in and out of London, it really was a day event, but I would not want to have gone home after the cliff hanger ending of Part One, and had to wait until a later date to conclude the story. A great experience that I am glad I did not miss out on.