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