On the privilege of seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (no spoilers, promise!)
Beloved characters from books, films and television shows are often sacred ground for us fans. We have journeyed with them, taken them into our hearts and think about them when our real lives are being a little less than spectacular. And so, when these characters are revisited for what sometimes feels like a money grab, and what sometimes is (I’m sure) a form of closure for the creatives, we wait with the duelling emotions of hope and fear, wondering if those in charge are about to wreck everything. Most often than not, they do wreck things, a lot (Mitch Hurwitz and your Arrested Development season 4 shambles, I’m looking at you!). While I always want more Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy didn’t quite do it for me and I’m terrified about seeing Bridget Jones’s Baby for fear that watching it will forever ruin the first film and first two books for me. Similarly, I’m nervous about the upcoming Gilmore Girls episodes even though I’d give my right arm to go back to Stars Hollow. And maybe let’s not talk about Go Set a Watchman. It’s for the best.
But then, a moment comes along when you can unclench because there are people in this world who love their characters as much as you do and are clever enough to ensure anyone involved in creating new and exciting revisits only want what’s best not only for the characters and their world, but also for the fans. J.K. Rowling is one of these people. Some may complain that she should leave Harry and his magical world along, but I say bring.it.on. We all love Harry and should trust that J.K. would never do anything to ruin him. Or Hermione or Ron for that matter (or Dumbledore, or Neville or Severus…you get the idea). I’d be more than happy to have new Harry Potter material every.single.year.
|Apparently you can't take too many photos of the glorious Palace Theatre|
And so we come to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I promised you there would be no spoilers in this post, and I’m sticking to that. The impassioned plea to #keepthesecrets by J.K. herself and those who helped bring Cursed Child to the stage is something I take very seriously so the following is more an idea of what I thought about it all, rather than the plot. (If you’d like to know what the story is about, go and read the script. If you can at all get yourself to London to see the performance DO.IT.)
|I'm not ashamed of keeping this ticket forever|
The magnitude of the event itself was hard to come to grips with since, as those of you who have read this blog from the beginning know, I booked tickets in October 2015 and that event helped me decide to completely change my life. So taking into account all of that, plus how much love I had for the books, it all would have been so tragic if it had been a big pile of steaming terribleness.
Thankfully, this wasn’t the case.
The play, performed in two parts and seen over two nights, was, to put it simply, utterly joyful. My already nervously high expectations were smashed. The staging was spectacular but was just pipped by the story telling as the true standout of the production. I have to bow my head in utter unworthiness at the brilliant of J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. The intelligence, wit and cleaverness of how they brought this eighth story to fans is remarkable. I didn’t leave the theatre wondering ‘what was the point of that?’. I left the theatre on a complete high, happy in the knowledge that I’d glimpsed the characters as their older selves, and had a few things from the past explained a bit more to help me further understand, and immerse myself in Harry’s world.
Yes, I’m gushing and I’m not sorry. I would see the play again immediately (if not for the fact it’s currently sold out until 2018) but I don’t want to take away tickets for those who have yet to have the privilege of watching magic on stage. And seeing this production was a privilege. It’s as simple as that.
So, my final thought for this slightly shorter post (because, again, no spoilers otherwise this post would go on for days) is… J.K., please continue to bless us with as much Harry as you see fit. (Everyone else? Maybe start coming up with some new stuff, yeah?)
|For real, can't take too many photos of the Palace Theatre. This is a different view though. It's from INSIDE!|