Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (The Play); London, England
A Review by Lauren
My sister had been to London before, and she knew it was pretty much number one on my places to visit, so she said after I got my Master’s degree, we would plan on going. Around this time, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets went on sale in London, so we really did plan our trip around when we could see the play. We ended up getting tickets for September 2016, so that’s when we went to London!
If you don’t know, the play is in two parts, and while it definitely makes for a long day (and a long play), I like that it was done this way because I think everything was needed to really get to know these characters as adults – and be introduced to their children, especially Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, who are both in Slytherin and become best friends. If you haven’t read the script book, don’t worry – the motto of the Cursed Child play is “Keep the Secrets” so I won’t be revealing too much about the actual play.
I read Cursed Child when it was released and while I had some quibbles about things, I ultimately really loved the story and I liked getting to know Albus and Scorpius. One of my favorite characters in the original series is Draco Malfoy, so seeing him and his son was a delight! I know people have issues with the play, but my answer to that is you must see it live. I think it’s great they published the script, because it’s obviously difficult for most people to see the play (even with it being in NYC now). However, it’s very much a play and is meant to be shown that way. I really hope they tape it someday and release that on DVD – though hopefully they already taped it with the original cast in London, because that’s who I saw when I went and they are fantastic.
Sam Clemmett plays Albus Potter and he does a beautiful job. You kind of want to wrap him up in a hug throughout the play, while at the same time yell at him to stop being so stupid and just talk to his father! Of course, being the son of Harry Potter is not easy, especially for Albus who ends up not in Gryffindor, but Slytherin. Harry has a tough time understanding Albus, and the two of them definitely clash throughout. I thought the acting was superb though, from both Sam and Jamie Parker, who plays Harry.
My favorite character in Cursed Child is Scorpius, and that has only grown since seeing the play, as Anthony Boyle is fantastic. Seriously, he does one of the best acting jobs in the play, I think. The way that Boyle plays Scorpius is how people are going to play him from here on out. You’d have to see the play to truly understand what I mean, but the voice he uses and the mannerisms really brought Scorpius alive from the page and he’s another character that you want to hug throughout – though with a lot less yelling because Scorpius is usually trying to do the right thing and gets roped into trouble by Albus.
Again, “keep the secrets” and all, so I will just say that the way they do magic in the play is phenomenal. The theater really does come alive. There’s Polyjuice Potion, traveling through the phone booth, a whole water scene, Dementors, and more. This is all in the play script, but seeing it on stage and in person is a wonderful sight to see, and I really do hope everyone gets that chance someday.
Since the whole play is broken into two parts, there is a gap of time in between so you can get dinner or hang out. My sister and I went to a restaurant across the street and had a really good meal. Once we were finished, we went back to wait outside the theater until they let us in for Part 2.
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We both got lanyards and keychains from the theater gift shop, just to have something Cursed Child related for a memory. Once the play was over, I asked my sister if she wanted to go to the stage door, so we did. I’ve never done this before, but I had to take the chance and see if I could meet anyone in the play. A lot of the cast did exit through the door and they took pictures and signed autographs. I got to meet Sam Clemmett and Anthony Boyle, as well as some other cast members. Everyone was super nice and it was an amazing end to the day.
This was another entry in my Lauren Does London series, where I chronicle my trip to London, England in September 2016. Since July is Harry Potter’s birth month, I figured it was about time I shared my Harry Potter adventures in London.