I just cannot tell you how grateful I am of your cursed child staging descriptions. They are beautiful, elaborate, and witty. My daily commutes are quite long, so when I travel I make it a point to go to your page and check if you've posted anything new. I've got a few questions of my own regarding the staging of the play although I don't have them listed, but for now if you would like to discuss...I am quite curious about the chemistry between Harry/Albus : Jamie/Sam in the play. (much love <3)
Thank you so much, that’s such a kind thing to say! <3
Well, the word chemistry seems a bit off here, given that for most of the play, it seems like these two are speaking an entirely different language. They seem to be doing okay-ish in the very first scene at King’s Cross, but once Albus leaves for Hogwarts it quickly goes downhill from there.
Albus is visibly uncomfortable in his scenes with Harry, and grows more and more uneasy as time goes by, to the point that the big argument scene seems inevitable. It’s not even for lack of trying, Harry does seem to try but he entirely fails to connect with Albus on any level and it’s quite difficult to watch.
Albus doesn’t enjoy confrontation - even if he does does provoke Harry to get a reaction from him, the instant Harry raises his voice Albus seems almost fragile and not at all this bratty, brash, and confrontational kid that he is sometimes portrayed as in the fandom. On the contrary, Albus gets visibly uncomfortable when faced with aggression and unlike his dad, he would absolutely avoid lashing out physically if possible. This doesn’t go well with Harry’s tendency to raise his voice and yell at people who he loves and it’s heartbreaking to see that Harry doesn’t seem to recognise at all that Albus can’t take being yelled at the same way that some of the other characters can.
Albus has the exact same reaction when Scorpius faces him at the library: he delivers the lines “I just wish you weren’t my dad” to Harry and “without you holding me back I can make a proper go at it” to Scorpius with the same purpose, trying to get a reaction out of the other, but once the other person replies, the anger seems to disappear and he just seems small, resigned, and heartbroken.
(on the same note, as far as confrontations go Albus’ “poor orphan who went on to save us all” and Scorpius’ “poor Albus Potter with a chip on his shoulder, poor Albus Potter, so sad” sound remarkably similar, not just because of the choice of words but also the way they frame the other person’s problems as less important as their own)
I don’t have kids so I’m not probably the best person to comment this, but while I do understand Harry’s frustration as well as the unfortunate argument that they have, I’m still not quite sure why he has such fundamental difficulties connecting with Albus on any level. Many of the issues Albus faces at Hogwarts are exactly the same as Harry faced during his time there - being an outcast, having unfair expectations placed on you, feeling unwelcome in a place that should be your home, living up to one’s parent’s name.. Harry is such a compassionate character that this complete lack of understanding is somewhat devastating. This is the part I struggle most with this play re: Harry’s characterisation - while it’s clear that his later (questionable but still) parenting decisions stem from fear for his family’s safety, the play doesn’t really tell us why Harry struggles so hard with empathising with Albus even before the time travel shenanigans start.
Both of them still seem to struggle at the final scene, but they seem to have found some kind of a common ground or a starting point: it’s quite cathartic to see that they are both working towards getting to know each other, Albus trying to understand where his dad comes from, and Harry learning to how to show his love and appreciation to Albus. The pigeon-racing discussion is heartwarming and probably the first time we truly see Albus connecting with Harry, at least since the first scene when they discuss getting sorted to Slytherin.