Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: A Play Review.

A/N: Mild spoilers ahead! 

Yesterday was in every meaning of the word, magical. Being one of the many that grew up alongside Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, saying goodbye to the magical world when the final book was released, and then film, was an emotional and heartbreaking experience. To be honest, I had always held out a little bit of hope that one day, if the time was right, J. K. Rowling would revisit the magical realm that so many of us escaped to for a sense of home. Turns out, that hope wasn’t useless, as I had been told by many, that she’d never return to the Potters – they were, of course, wrong.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is at the moment in its preview stages, meaning that we saw it before official release to critics and others alike. And I can tell you, in my opinion, it was absolutely wonderful. Going in, I had no idea what to expect. I’d seen no fan reviews, no pictures; everything had been kept a secret from my prying eyes. And if there were spoilers around, I did my best to stay away from them at all costs. I’ll try and keep this as open and reader friendly to those that have yet to see the play, but honestly, it is just spectacular. Granted, I might sound biased because of my love for the Potter world, but I am being completely truthful here. I felt like I was eleven years old again. Like I’d stepped back in time and was looking up at Hogwarts’ hallowed halls and grand staircase. Like I’d somehow managed to grab a ride on the Hogwarts Express and entered a home that I would never, physically at least, be able to step into. Seeing the play, brought back a whole world of nostalgia, of course it did. How could it not?

I had been skeptical about the plot and form (that it being a play); I’m not going to lie. I was worried about how this would affect the canon that we all know from the Potter novels, and having it on stage and not screen where the magic was made to seem real, how would that be translated to something that would be raw, open and right in front of us? I was blown away. The set was amazing, they had special effects, they had the moving staircases, they had magical wands, floating people, snow, they had the black lake, they had a wonderful soundtrack, they had magical tricks that seemed utterly real, they had everything to make the play itself seem like it was taken right out of the films themselves.

Spells were cast, potions were taken, floating brooms were seen, people floating in the air, dementors flying and swooping towards and from the audience, they had fire and wind, they had the time turners which when used made the whole theatre feel like it had somehow visually shaken to adjust to the time change. The costumes were spot on and the billowing cloaks just added to the magic of it all, people appeared as if from nowhere, people changed into other people, they had a talking bookcase which grabbed people and churned them out. They had doorways and trinkets, talking portraits, they seemed to change costume on stage, without us even seeing, people were thrown in the air, floating as if they had that ability, and chairs moved on their own, tables too – it all held a very supernatural tone. Of course, these have all been orchestrated and we know that magic is not real (well, who knows?), but just sitting there, being in the thick of it all, made it feel real.

I don’t want to talk about the plot too much, due to spoilers for those that haven’t seen it yet. But I can say that the characters were wonderful. The sorting of the new characters was interesting, the new friendships formed made sure that old hatred and prejudice had died with the dark lord. Characters and story were played out like a mystery game, you were always second guessing what was going to happen and that was the Rowling stamp all over it. I loved the people they had cast for each character, especially those who played Scorpius and Albus. The two of them were hilarious and had us in fits of laughter, along with that, they brought friendship (hinted towards more, seriously, it was), love, family, emotion, tears and a whole array of feelings. Revisited was Godrics Hollow and Harry’s past, old enemies came together to save the lives of others, Hermione had just gone from strength to strength, Ron was his usual eating too much, funny, guy with the biggest heart and Harry was, well, Harry. A man now, who still thought he wasn’t good enough, still the self-sacrificing man we had grown alongside and the undyingly loyal person he always had been to those he loved.

There were some things that bothered me. Some of the sorting I didn’t agree with and relationships, but overall, I loved it. For anyone in doubt, it really is a film you need to see to understand just how magical it was. Of all my somewhat limited theatre going experience, this by far, has topped all of them.

I mean, of course it would. It’s Harry Potter at the end of the day.

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