Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Play

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Hiya guys! So, if you haven’t guessed by now I am a bit of a Harry Potter fan 🙂

Last week (after years of hoping and waiting for it to come down to Australia) I finally got to see The Cursed Child here in Melbourne!

I know this isn’t exactly a book review but I figured it’s Harry Potter, and I still wanted to share my thoughts and experiences of the day.

The entire Cursed Child team are very adamant about not sharing any spoilers aka #keepthesecrets of the magic that is the production, so you can all relax.. this is a SPOILER FREE review!

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So. Let’s begin.

Ok. As some of you may know. When buying tickets to The Cursed Child, you have the option to watch both parts one and two on the same dat, OR you can watch each part on separate days. I went with family (we’re all big HP fans), and we got tickets to see both parts in the one day.

Now. Based on my experience, there’s pros and cons to seeing the entire thing in one day.

PROS: Well, you get to see the entire thing in ONE day! Hehe. You don’t want to wait to see the conclusion to The Cursed Child because it won’t have the same feel. It’s like watching the first half of a movie one night and seeing the other half the following.  

CONS: It’s tiring! The first part started in the afternoon, went on for a couple hours then we had the break. We had three hours to kill (which we took advantage of by having an early dinner) before we had to head back to the theatre for the second part (by then it was nightfall), another couple of hours past then it was officially done. Add in the travel time to and from (if you’re like me coming into the city from an hour away)… and there you have it: TIRING!  

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Now. On the day we went, we were lucky (I guess?) enough to get the entire official Australian cast (so no alternates). Here they are below:

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I wasn’t a complete fan of the screenplay when I read it. I gave it 3 stars (read my review here: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling) but what I do remember loving from that story was Scorpius. So, I was excited to see how he would be in this play.

First impressions?

Uggggh. I was so disappointed. He was portrayed nothing like how I thought he was from the book. Scorpius in the play was jumpy, frazzled and a little off-putting. I think I actually hated him for the entire first part. 

Buuuuuut wait! He did eventually grow on me by the second half. He had a few out of nowhere hilarious moments I couldn’t help but laugh at and by the end Scorpius was like his book counterpart – the saving grace of the entire story!

This is going to sound completely snooty but I don’t care, I can’t help it. It was my thoughts the entire time.. I hated.. the actors/ actresses who played Scorpius’, Ginny (ugh especially Ginny), and Hermione’s voices. Picture high-pitched screeching through a microphone.

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I’m actually curious to see the UK cast and how each actor/ actress portrayed their character. And if the Australian cast was similar or completely different from the other Cursed Child productions around the world. 

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How about the production itself?

PROS: The sets, the lighting, the props and the “magic” were amazing!

CONS: Lots of unnecessary bits included that dragged the story, and I felt were big time wasters. It had me questioning why they kept doing it. 

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But whatevs. I’m sure it was to serve a purpose to the cast and crew and the transitions from scene to scene. I just wasn’t liking it.. *shrugs*

Oh. But don’t think I didn’t entirely enjoy any of it. I did have fave parts. I swear! 😉

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Check out this photo and more from:  Official Visit Melbourne

The second part was most definitely the saving grace! After almost dozing off for most of the first half, it was the action-packed, faster paced second half that had me sitting up and soaking in all that dark goodness! The scene pictured above was probably my fave part! It was enthralling, captivating and had me “oohing” and “aahing” from start to finish. They executed that scene perfectly and gave me serious Durmstrang entrance (from Goblet of Fire movie) vibes! The scene alone made the entire day and expensive ass tickets worth it!

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I think my biggest annoyance was the seating itself. It’s great that Melbourne won out the bidding to have The Cursed Child playing there but (IMHO) the theatre was all wrong. Although the theatre was recently renovated, the ceilings are low and having sat in the seating, I (and I’m sure a lot of those around me) did not have a very good view of the stage or the cast. And we certainly did not have a view of the back of the stage.

Before you say anything – yes, there were things occuring at the back of the stage in some scenes that would’ve been nice to see. Add the fact that I had a couple of giant heads sitting right in front of me blocking 80% of what little view of the stage I had. I came away from that $400 out of pocket to see said “giant heads”, hear the live orchestra and see half of the cast.

There was only one thing I could think of that made sitting in the upper seats fine. But I can’t share it with you guys. Sorry, but #keepthesecrets and all that. Just know, it was pretty cool to see! All I’ll say is it’s another “ooh” and “aah” moment 😛

So if you’re planning to see it in Melbourne, try and grab seats on the lower level. None of the seats in the theatre are elevated so you might as well try and grab seats on the same level as the stage.

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In conclusion. Do I think spending about AU$200 for each part worth it? Nope. If I could, I would’ve skipped the first half and just watched the second (especially since I’d already read the book). But that’s just my opinion based from my experience.

I have no doubt people enjoyed the entire thing (hey, the play wouldn’t have gotten raved reviews it wasn’t enjoyable, right?)

And the crowd I was with, I was surprised that the majority had not read the book because when the “plot twist” had finally arrived, the amount of gasps I had me chuckling in reaction. LOL.

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Let’s move on and talk about The Cursed Child merch!

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Were they expensive? Hell yes. But it is a once in a lifetime experience and with the expensive tickets I doubt you’ll go back and see it again, so you might as well buy a momento or two.

Whenever I go watch a play, musical or concert, I always try and get the program book. Which I did here. It was AU$25 and that’s to be expected.

They were also selling house merch – like beanies, scarves, mugs, pens, totes, badges, hoodies and shirts.

But if I were you, I would buy the official Cursed Child merch that has the logo on it. You can grab HP house merch just about anywhere these days but it’s rare to see any The Cursed Child merch. I hear you can order the merch online, so there’s that at least (but remember shipping costs included). Remember, these are pretty pricey merchandize.

RATING: ♥♥♥/5

Overall. The same as the book. Meh, okay. It wasn’t the best play I’d seen, and certainly not the best acting.. but it’s friggin’ Harry Potter! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

 

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling

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— MY LIL SYNOPSIS —

Eighth book in the Harry Potter series. The Cursed Child takes place 19 years later and it revolves around Harry and Ginny’s second son Albus.

This story was originally created as a play so the book is written out as a SCRIPT!

It follows Albus’ years in Hogwarts starting from his very first year and how he handles life having Harry as his father and knowing what he had gone through most of his life. You get to find out what has become of Harry, Ron and Hermione – their families, jobs and how they’ve been coping since Voldemort was defeated. Whilst Albus deals with being a “Potter” and all that comes with the name, Harry struggles with moving on from his past. Both the past and present collide and they must face their problems head on and learn the painful truth that sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

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— MY REVIEW —

I decided to divide this review into sections based on the storyline, characters and my overall thoughts of the book.

Storyline:

To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the storyline. It felt like one issue that grew larger and larger. It was a snowball effect that really could’ve been sorted out a lot earlier. I felt there was no real depth to the story and that I was just reading more about the characters themselves but it wouldn’t be much of a story without a storyline so I felt it was just created so we could get to know more about the characters (old and new) – if that makes sense?booksofthemuggleborn_thecursedchild2

I just think the story could’ve been different or written with a little more depth. It was skimmed through and rushed. The whole time I was reading it, it was just one problem after another and then there were arguments in between. The story didn’t reveal itself until the last few pages along with how they dealt with it. It ended abruptly and it didn’t feel completely resolved either. I felt the story left me hanging and wondering what would happen next, but the problem is JK has announced that this is the final book in the Harry Potter world. So if that really is the case then this book has brought up more questions than conclusions. The Deathly Hallows had more of an ending to me than this book. If anything, The Cursed Child brought back old wounds for no good reason, just for the sake of having another Harry Potter book. There’s some flaws and it definitely doesn’t compare to the previous stories but the positive aspect I took from this book are the characters. They are what makes this book worthy of being the “eighth” one.

Characters:

I will start off with my favourite – Scorpius. But anyone who’s read this will surely agree with me that he made this book! I’ve always been a Draco fan and I’m a proud Slytherin so the second I saw Scorpius’ name on the page I knew I would love him just as much! And I wasn’t wrong! When I saw that Scorpius had a role to play in this story I was ecstatic. He is the side of Slytherin I had always knew existed. Someone caring, sweet and smart to boot. Just a pity he became friends with Albus (lol).

Albus is Harry and Ginny’s second son and my gosh he reminded me so much of Harry during his school years. I guess the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. He was irritating. I found him SERIOUSLY irritating! It’s actually one of Harry’s traits I disliked when reading the original series and finding that Albus was exactly the same in this book not only brought back memories but it was also another reason why I didn’t give this one full ratings. When the protagonist is irritating to the point where you prefer secondary characters, it’s never a good sign. You have to read on hoping they would eventually change but by then you already have character preferences.

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I did however like the blooming friendship of Scorpius and Albus with Albus’ cousin Rose (Ron and Hermione’s daughter). They are a reflection of the Golden Trio. Not the same but similar feels 🙂 *Scorpius’ little crush on Rose was adorable too and a nice light-hearted touch to the story*

Seeing old friends such as Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Draco were highlights for me. I loved reading about what’s become of them. Their relationships, where they all ended up, work…etc. If you’ve read the Deathly Hallows you’ll know that JK wrote a little “after” story where you see them at the train station waving their children off for the Hogwarts Express bound for Hogwarts. The Cursed Child starts off from this point so you get an idea of who ended up with who and a glimpse of their families. In this book, you get to really see how times have changed. I don’t know if it’s because they are now full grown adults or if it’s the different writing style, but I felt some of the original characters did not have the same feel.

For instance, I felt Ron was dumbed-down excessively. He was almost the comedic effect in the book but yet I didn’t necessarily feel it was needed. He seemed lost or confused about situations and was always the last to know things. It’s disappointing because I never thought Ron was the “dumb” one from the group but you wouldn’t have guessed that in this book.

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Harry’s annoying behaviour only expanded for me. In Deathly Hallows, he specifically tells Albus not to worry so much if he was to be sorted into Slytherin. Having being named after Snape one of the bravest and smartest Slytherins out there, it wouldn’t matter to him if Albus was sorted into that house… well apparently that’s a lie! Harry clearly wasn’t happy with Albus being sorted into Slytherin in The Cursed Child and he clearly wasn’t happy knowing Albus had befriended Draco’s son Scorpius either. This book really challenges Harry’s parenting skills. Some have said that he’s a terrible father but after enduring for so many years what Harry had to deal with, you can’t blame him for being cautious or even overly protective of his children, and when you have a child like Albus where his at that rebellious stage you’re bound to butt heads. If he really was a terrible father, you would see all his children acting out. You know what I mean? I say give the guy a break.

I love that a little light has shone onto Draco. He was another character people depicted as a villainous coward but when you read the parts where Draco talks about his family and how he’s turned his life around, I think you really get to see the Draco he’s always been but was unable to show because of his parents and their connection with the death eaters and Voldemort.

Seeing familiar names such as McGonagall, Dumbledore, Snape and Neville Longbottom really hit home for me. Seeing these characters again made this whole book for me. It brought so many feels and nostalgia. They may only have been little glimpses of them but it was enough and I found myself smiling all throughout 😀

Overall Feels:

I was hooked right from the first page. I know there’s mixed opinions going around at the moment and I can see where people are coming from with their concerns but I went into reading this with an open mind.CheesySmile

It’s not solely JK Rowling’s writing so I knew it wouldn’t have the same feel as the first 7 HP books but it was still a great read. Having it as a script format is different but not hard to follow. It’s literally a conversation in text format. If anything I’m grateful JK released this because not everyone can go to London and see the actual play (but I’m still hoping they take it to more countries – with Australia being one of them hehe). I’m sure everyone had been dying to know what happened to Harry, Ron, Hermione after The Deathly Hallows ended. I know I was! Well this is the answer. It may not be what everyone expected but there it is and it’s always nice to revisit the Wizarding World.

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/5

I still highly recommend this for Harry Potter fans. It may not live up to the rest of the series for some fans but what fan wouldn’t still want a copy The Cursed Child for their collection? It may not be reread as much as the first 7 books but it’s still worth a read, even if it’s to see old friends 🙂


Question: If you’ve read this – did it live up to your expectation?