Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has changed my life.
I’m Maia and I’m 22 years old. I’m a cancer biology PhD student so my days are pretty academically demanding and sometimes pretty emotional. I am the biggest geek: I was bullied all through school because of it and that left me with shitty self-esteem which did (more or less) repair itself during uni. I’ve loved Harry Potter since I was 7 years old and I am Hermione Granger. (No, seriously, sometimes I quote her without even meaning to).
I took this photo the day the banners and that famous nest went up at the Palace. I stopped writing my masters dissertation, took the afternoon off and decided I needed to see it. I got a little tingle. [No, I’m not wearing make-up, get over it!].
I didn’t have a ticket until March 2017. However, I am a Ravenclaw (with a lot of Slytherin) so I decided I was going to see it and I was going to see it during the previews! I was on twitter constantly and I finally found someone selling one as their sister could no longer go. She wanted face value and someone who was a big fan to sit with so I fitted the bill and I was going to see Cursed Child on June 25th.
I had butterflies for WEEKS.
Safe to say that I LOVED IT, and was sat in the middle of the Grand Circle, which is a great place for first timers as you see everything. As soon as it started I cried because HARRY WAS BACK AND RIGHT THERE. And for the first time in my life I had a character that I could relate to looks even slightly like me in Noma’s Hermione. I cried and cried during the play and when I got home that night. Before this play I wasn’t a big crier, it has changed me.
A week later I bumped into Sam and Anthony while I was slightly drunk on the street and sort of lost my mind a bit, which should’ve been a tell-tale sign that this play was about to be my next obsession. I mean bloody hell, I am an educated, level-headed young women and I was crying because some boy liked my tweet.
I knew I needed to see the play again. I also knew there were no tickets but I’d read on Twitter that the returns queue was a viable option. We got to the theatre at 5am on the Wednesday after the gala and were lucky! Row F of the stalls (Probably the best seats I’ve sat in during this whole thing).
The play moved me even more the second time and my stage door experience was INSANELY good. This cast are the most generous, brilliant, kind people I’ve been lucky enough to meet. This time I got to meet Noma. I had a speech ready to say to her but then she recognised me from Twitter and knew me by name so I panicked and said nothing useful. (I even had to call my mum afterwards because this shook me so much). Noma I have told you a million times how much I love you but you’ve honestly made me a better, more confident person and I’ll remember that forever. Maybe someday I’ll post a picture the letter I wrote her.
Following this amazing day I went to see the play once more with a friend and then started to build a bit of a twitter friendship group. First I met Fuschia, who is such a brilliant Slytherin who I treasure dearly. Then a girl called Adriana followed me and sounded like she’d been having a shitty week. So I messaged her to say I had access to some tickets and wondered if she wanted to come. For a split second after sending the message I panicked that she would think I was weird and would just say no and unfollow me but we ended up going together. I’m so grateful it worked out because I can’t imagine my life without her now. Adriana then introduced me to Iona who splash landed into my life and has been stirring it up in amazing ways since.
We then proceeded to start script reading and drinking wine at 3pm. We ended up meeting up with Gemma who we nearly scared off because we were very intoxicated and loud but (thank God) she stayed and is now a beautiful friend.
This is Adriana hugging a pillar outside the palace at like midnight which sums up October, when I went to see the play 5 times because you’re all fucking insane.
At some point during this drunken month I met Jack (I think this was we love the spare night), who is the wittiest, loveliest friend now. But I’m still slightly concerned that he came and stayed at my house for the Fantastic Beasts premiere after only meeting me once, piss drunk at stage door. I mean I know I’m ok…
At the FB premiere we told all the press that we were most excited to see Jeremy Ang Jones and got unnecessarily excited to see the cast even though we’d met them at stage door about 300 times. This was probably the first time the cast recognised us and I realised just how deep I was into this fandom.
We then picked up Emily, Miriam, Megan, Steph and Anna and somehow acquired the name “Cursed Child Inner Circle” which we promise sounds more cult-like that it actually is! (We now prefer HP Love Crew because this isn’t a cult.)
On December 17th, 2016 we all went to see the play together. It was a ticket buying feat. We had to pool all our skills. Jack came down (JACKS IN TOWNNN) and we all had the BEST day hanging out together.
When we’re in, we whoop and cheer and clap and try to bring the audience up to our excitement level. The security can’t believe how excited we still look whenever we walk in but we still are so SO excited!
Since then, Susy B and Manon have joined our group and I’m loving getting to know you two!
Something about Cursed Child had clearly struck a chord with me. This is a genius production- I have honestly cried more than once because the lighting looks so beautiful with the cloaks in the movement sequences and the music brings up emotions which I didn’t know I needed to feel. The fact that the crux of the play is two geeky losers having their first adventure really resonates with me because that’s kinda where I am in my life now. My obsession with the play coincided with me starting my PhD and moving out of my parents house to living with friends. As much as I could’ve watched every play in the West End with the money I’ve spent on this one, it has been so important for me to really get to know these characters.
More than anything, Scorpius’s character development throughout the play from a fidgety, confused kid to someone who walks up to Rose and asks her out (however much I don’t ship that) is something that I’ve gone through in these 7 months. I’ve met so many new people, allowed myself to get to know them, pushed myself out of my science-y world and allowed myself to really start feeling things. I’ve got a lot of comments from family saying that I’m so outgoing now, people who can’t believe how social I’m being and this play is to thank for that. I’ve been confident enough to go to writing and spoken work workshops (god, I’m even going to a performance workshop this week) and push myself so far out of my comfort zone in ways I never thought I would.
But this is so much due to the amazing friends I’ve made. Every single one of you has made these past few months the best of my life. You’re all so unique and beautiful. I feel honoured to have witnessed us all grow into more unapologetic, geeky fangirls and blessed to see you grow in your lives. I know that I will be able lean on you for support and encouragement as I embark on PhD insanity and I hope you all trust that I will do my best to be just as good of a friend. The love and support that comes out of this group has strengthened me. We all come from different places, we’re different ages, we have different dreams but we’re all on our way up to great things and I’m so excited that I get to see where we all go and live it with you. I can’t believe this play brought us together but I’m so SO glad I have you all now.
I love you CCIC.