For my birthday yesterday, my mum and I went to see the Cursed Child in London. Despite having read the script when it was released, so I knew much of what was coming I was utterly blown away. I’ve seen more theatre in 2018 than I have in any other year – Wicked, Les Mis, Matilda, War Horse and now this – and much as I enjoyed the others, I really loved Harry Potter. Although I suspect most people who are interested have read the book, I’ll try to keep this as spoiler-free as I can.
Some bits I was expecting to love – Scorpius Malfoy is a wonderful human being (I still have some issues with the very obvious queer baiting, and how a female character seems to exist purely as a ‘no homo’ trope, but regardless, he is brilliant. I enjoyed a lot of the characters we’re all familiar with from the films – it takes a lot of skill to not just seem like a caricature when you’re playing Snape! I still hate that Albus Severus Potter is named after Dumbledore and Snape – two men who were certainly not the ‘bravest’ Harry knew! But that’s more a quibble with the epilogue of the Deathly Hallows, which to me just reads like bad fan fiction (there is good fanfic and bad fanfic, and that definitely read like the latter!) The music was just right, although I was hoping for a reprise of some of the music from the films at the end.
The best bit (aside from Scorpius, obviously) was the staging – parts of the stageplay which didn’t read well came across brilliantly on stage, and some of the set changes were so well done. I’m still struggling to figure out how much of it worked! A lot of the bits that sound ridiculous on the page worked so well on stage. The Dementors were particularly impressive – and by impressive I mean ‘I was frozen to my wheelchair by how scared I was’. The age demographic skewed much older than I expected, but I’m not sure I’d want to take a young child to something that dark – as I say, having read the stageplay I went in thinking I knew what to expect, but there were bits I didn’t remember fully or that were so different live.
Although there are some minor quibbles I have, I really enjoyed it and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see it – seeing both parts in one day has left me very tired but it was definitely the way to do it. We spent most of the day at the theatre but it felt almost immersive