Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Parts One and Two
Palace Theatre London
Part One Thursday 31 May 2018 7.30pm
Part Two Friday 01 June 2018 7.30pm
This was a paid for visit not a press trip
It would be sad should Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ever be turned into a film. This is because it is a stunning piece of theatre made all the more wondrous by the magical world being created live on stage with clever illusions and special effects as well as solid direction and beautiful acting.
Due to the twisting time turning narrative, I read the play with my child prior to seeing the two shows on consecutive evenings. The writing seemed a little clunky in places, and some important characters a little too on the periphery – most notably the female characters. This is a play all about the boys and specifically, the fathers and sons.
It’s set at the exact point the last story finishes and is a continuation of the canon. Harry Potter himself isn’t a particularly great dad to his son Albus and Hogwarts seems a hotbed of bullying and unkindness.
When translated on stage the drama moves quickly, though sometimes the short scenes are a little choppy. But, even knowing what’s going to happen and who’s going to pop up, it was still gripping.
It’s difficult to write much about the play without giving things away and dropping spoilers. Even if you know the story, there are jaw dropping live effects and clever staging that makes you go wow. Video projections during time travel sequences are insanely perfect, making the stage appear to bounce. There’s so much flame, smoke and wand wars the concept designer must have been an arsonist in a previous life.
There’s jump scares aplenty throughout the plot which contains enough tension to sustain two full length shows. Themes include the difficulties of finding your place in the world as you grow up, adult-child relationships, time travel, parenting and of course, You Know Who. The ending is bitter sweet and the way the story wraps up is a relief after pulling the audience through dark possibilities and answering the what-if and why-not questions Potter fans muse over.
Jonathan Case as the over-anxious and skittish Scorpius Malfoy – son of Draco – was delightful, probably just stealing the show from an incredibly strong cast.
You don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy this show. Of course, that audience is exactly who it’s aimed at. But this can stand alone as a play that will entertain and enthral regular theatre-goers who are dedicated enough to attend both shows.
You can do both Potter plays in a day or watch them on consecutive nights. We went for the consecutive nights option, staying close to the theatre overnight. This was a great option for us and really heightened the anticipation for the next evening!
It’s a double expense watching a two-part play, but Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is absolutely worth it. This is a wonderful piece of theatre. It’s well directed, beautifully performed, ingeniously staged and will keep you enthralled and engaged throughout.
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