It seems that most of the actors are getting big breaks in film (Rowan and Corey) and with Sabrina so excited to focus on her music I'm not sure they'll even be interested in GMW anymore.
While it’s lovely to see the kids getting small roles in big movies or big roles in small movies, none of them have really had a “big break” yet, nor have any of them booked a conflict. Sabrina did music + GMW simultaneously before, and I highly doubt the executive producers would bother trying to save the show if they didn’t think they’d have the main cast on board. (And that’s not to mention how clear they all made it prior to cancellation that they wanted to keep going). ☺️
I went to see the show for the fourth time last Friday and I was close enough to see a lot more details thanks to my seat - I was front row, in AA. This seat is great for the details that you see and hear but if you are short you might not see the back of the stage. I’m tall, so this wasn’t a problem for me.
I’m finally getting around to writing my thoughts down on the variations within each show and between actors. Cast board for this show:
Sam’s transition between muggle clothing and Hogwarts robes wasn’t as smooth as normal. It looked as though the transition snagged slightly on his hood but it was only for a split-second and the transition got the same reaction from the audience that it usually does, so this probably wasn’t noticeable to someone seeing the show for the first time.
I love watching the characters on stage who aren’t speaking. For example, if you watch Harry and Ginny while Ron is doing his trick, they are being really cute with each other. Harry has his arm around Ginny and he caresses her back with his hand, and steals frequent adoring, soppy looks and grins at her. He usually sneaks a kiss on the cheek or the ear in somewhere. It’s gorgeous, especially as things become tense between them later on. James Sirius (Tom Milligan) is another one to watch - his reactions to Ron and Albus are entertaining. He laughs again when Albus mentions Slytherin and often shares a joke and a look with Ron. I love that you can see how strong Ron’s relationship is with his nephews and nieces in this scene.
Lily’s Sorting is bittersweet. On the one hand you’re pleased for her as she’s so happy to go into Gryffindor (she runs to James Sirius and Rose and they have this uber-excited group hug and it’s adorable) but on the other hand you really feel for Albus as he becomes increasingly isolated within his family.
Harry in his office with Hermione was cute. This day was a less angry day for Jamie and I prefer when he doesn’t raise his voice too loud to Hermione about her scolding his lack of paperwork management (contrary to other scenes where the angrier he gets the more I love it, but Jamie’s nuances are a whole other post entirely). When he got home and found Amos, he really tried so hard with him. He took off his jacket, unbuttoned his waistcoat and placed his chair close to Amos, leaning forward and really trying to emotionally connect with him.
Scorpius really went for the”Yes, a quiz!” line. I love it when he really goes for that. What a dork.
The first General Meeting: the best thing about being front row was being able to pick up things that the ensemble are saying (who don’t have microphones). When Hermione waves her wand and pulls them all toward her before releasing them, one character (played by Martin Johnston) at the back of the meeting, closest to the audience, said in an offended voice “That was unnecessary.” It made the few audience members who heard it laugh, the rest must have wondered what we laughing at. The great thing about seeing this show, or any show, multiple times is that you have the opportunity to pick up on things every time that you missed before. You realise that even the most hidden of background actors have a character and a role and a story within the scene and it brings the story into life just that little bit extra and leaves you with so much awe for just how no detail has been spared.
Helena Lymberry was in her normal role as Petunia. I actually prefer her cover, Lowri James, for this role but they may just be down to Lowri looking the part more. Helena’s Hooch and Umbridge are very good; I prefer her Umbridge to Lowri’s. Swings and roundabouts.
Adam McNamara was covering Bane for Nuno. He did a really good job, I thought and I’m undecided on who I prefer in the role. I will say Nuno looks that part more so I’m possibly leaning more in Nuno’s way.
Harry, Draco and Ginny in the kitchen: I LOVED Alex in this show. He played Draco softer tonight, which is brilliant. I’ve seen James Howard cover Draco and one of the reasons I prefer him in the role is not because he is better or worse than Alex - they are both great actors - but because James plays Draco softer, and more vulnerable, which is how I imagine Draco evolving into after the journey he goes through in books 6 and 7. He still has the Malfoy swag, but he has less of the arrogance and malice that he had as a child. Alex played Draco closer to this tonight. When he told Harry ”Don’t lose the boy,” he was soft with it; he sounded so much more genuine and empathetic rather than brash. I loved it.
Having seen James Le Lacheur as Scorpius on my previous viewing of the show, the library scene always sticks out in my mind as one of the biggest differences between her performance and Anthony Boyle’s. James absolutely NAILS this scene. In particular, I love the way she delivers “Try my life!”. Up until this point she speaks at a normal volume but when she delivers that line it explodes out of her and it just stops the show. It is so, so good. James really emphasised the desperation Scorpius is in, not only over the circumstances he lives under, day in, day out, but over his best friend, not only not understanding, but up until that point, not even considering him. Anthony was back in as Scorpius which was great because I missed his adorable face, but he builds to this line rather than exploding out with and on the whole I prefer James’s delivery of the emotion in that scene. However, Anthony plays a mentally and emotionally younger Scorpius and I love how that works within the character and his history of isolation and endears him more to the audience. A spontaneous little quirk in this scene - when Scorpius was avoiding Albus’s eyes he picked a bit of fluff off his own robes and blew it across the stage, watching it float through the air. It was adorable and spontaneous and so utterly Scorpius and it simply delighted me. Oh, and Anthony’s tears give me tears. =*(
I love Moaning Myrtle. Annabel Baldwin is brilliant and I can’t get enough of her scenes. There is another cute Harry/Ginny moment to be had here, when Myrtle is flirting with Harry and Ginny has none of it. She storms around the sink and stands right behind Harry. It’s cute because even though Harry and Ginny are already more strained at this point, Ginny still gets so possessive. I love it.
Act Three: Sometimes in the Voldemort AU, Ron does a little thumbs up when he finds out that he is married to Hermione in “the other world”. He didn’t do it last night which was a shame because it’s a cute moment.
Sitting right at the front row, you do see strings on the two dememntors that hover over the stage (but not on the one that flies over the audience). However, the people in the row behind me (BB) couldn’t see them. Other than that, not a single illusion is ruined by being that close. It’s so impressive.
Harry and Ginny had much more heated conflicts in this show. Ginny never shouts, but she almost did this time around.
The audience was very enthusiastic - it’s interesting how audiences vary from show to show. The best audience I was ever part of was undoubtedly a Thursday and Friday night audience back in September, closely followed by a Saturday audience in November. Particular moments of reaction that I love are the hug in the lake, and when Scorpius screams with joy “HARRY POTTAAAAHHHH!” when he sees Harry upon returning from the Voldemort AU.
The Harry/Dumbledore conversation breaks me every time. In fact, I start welling up as soon as I see Dumbledore in Part 1 when he first sets foot on stage. Every time, that is the first moment that beings tears to my eyes. The conversation Harry and Dumbledore have in Harry’s office in Part Two remains my favourite scene of the play and it slightly different every time. Jamie played Harry less angry this time (more resigned, perhaps?) and it took longer to work to the point of tears. The scene is slightly different every time I’ve seen it and Jamie is just phenomenal each time and deserves so much credit for keeping things nuanced, not just in this scene but throughout the play. Returning to the earlier mention of Alex playing Draco softer in this show - it works especially well in his scenes with Harry.
The Harry/Ginny kiss: this is an absolute show highlight for me; I always look forward to it because Jamie and Poppy have such wonderful chemistry and the love story between Harry and Ginny is so incredibly strong. The kiss is another thing that is always slightly different each time, but it never fails to make the audience swoon. You can feel the passion between these two characters, it is as tangible as the clothes they wear. @torestoreamends tells me that on the showing the previous day, the audience actually applauded the kiss. This time, Ginny ran her hands through Harry’s hair as he kissed her (I love how he cradles her face in his hands every time) and honestly, I almost fainted. I may have drooled a little. I most definitely swooned.
I’m noticing Scorpius’s adorable stutter more. It comes out when he is nervous or frustrated. I’d love to know if this was a trait Anthony found in the character on his own. In the penultimate scene of the play when Scorpius and Albus are on the stairs after Scorpius asks out Rose, as Rose approaches him and Scorpius falls over, he stuttered on the “Received and entirely understood” line and it became”R-r-r-re-received a-and entirely understood”. Rose mimicked him in response and replied with “O-oh-oh-okay!” and it was awesome. I love those spontaneous moments from the actors.
Those are the major recollections for this show. I think I might consider actually taking notes the next time I go as it’s really fun to recap it, even if no one reads it!
And basically all of the original cast have signed up to reprise their roles.
Ready for some perfect movie news? How about this: Love Actually is actually getting a sequel. That’s right! It will be a special ten-minute short film for British charity Comic Relief and incredibly, many of the original cast are on board.
Those returning include Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth… and yes, even Andrew Lincoln.
Lucia Moniz (Aurelia), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Sam), Olivia Olson (Joanna), Bill Nighy (Billy), Marcus Brigstocke (Mikey), and Rowan Atkinson (Rufus) have all signed up to reprise their roles as well.
Written by the original film’s director Richard Curtis himself, the short titled Red Nose Day Actually (named after Comic Relief’s “Red Nose Day” telethon broadcast specials) revisits the much-loved characters in the present day, 14 years after the events of the 2003 movie.
“Over the years I’ve enjoyed doing Red Nose Day specials,” Curtis said. “It seemed like a fun idea this year to do a special sketch based on one of my films… I would never have dreamt of writing a sequel to Love Actually, but I thought it might be fun to do ten minutes to see what everyone is now up to.”
Curtis continued: “We’ve been delighted and grateful that so many of the cast are around and able to take part,” Curtis continued, “and it’ll certainly be a nostalgic moment getting back together and recreating their characters 14 years later.”