Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Recap: Part One, 24th May
Where to begin with this? I’m not sure whether to give opening assessments of the characters first, or line by line details. How about we start with the characters!
Thomas is just really delightfully funny. You forget that he doesn’t look like Ron, because he inhabits the character so well. Because he’s so jovial and bubbly all the time, the second timeline Ron is a stark and entertaining contrast. I think he’s brilliant, and he’s one of about five or six cast members who is completely nailing it already.
I adore Rakie. She exudes Hermione’s authority, and she has this beautiful sort of Hermione-ish quality to her that I’m not sure I ever personally felt from Noma. She just has this presence about her. I feel so comfortable when she’s on stage, I trust her implicitly, and she and Thomas have already given me one of my favourite ever Romione moments.
Helen’s Rose is simply adorable. She’s young and bubbly and seems like she’s having so much fun. I love how she has no time for Scorpius’s flirting, and she seems to have such a sweet relationship with her parents.
I was surprised and delighted by how much I liked Jamie. I was really worried about him, because in the past I don’t have a good track record of enjoying Harrys who weren’t played by Jamie Parker, but I didn’t have any issues with him. There were a couple of decisions that he made that I thought were really beautiful, especially in the second timeline. I could really feel a change between his normal timeline Harry and how he was in the second timeline. You could tell, especially at times in that timeline, that he loves Albus and wants the best for him.
I lot of the good Ginny moments come in Part Two (which I hadn’t realised; it’s fascinating how a new cast changes the whole balance and feel of the show), so I don’t think we’ve seen too much of Emma yet. But what I have seen I’ve liked, especially things she did around the duel scene. I can’t help but wonder if this cast have rehearsed the second timeline a lot, because that felt the most complete section of Part One for me.
From the first moment I saw the first photo of Theo in character, my impression was that he was uptight and insecure and nerdy, and that’s exactly what we got on stage. The photos and videos actually do give a really good sense of how these characters are being played, looking back on them with hindsight. I think Theo is really scared, but there are flashes of how he will be when he’s relaxed, and I do think we got a small sense of how he’ll be playing Albus going forward, which is entirely contrary to anything Sam or Tom ever did (although I actually really like that).
James has always been my favourite Draco. He exudes confidence and pain, and is one of those actors who’s shining. His Draco feels the most complete of all the characters on the stage, just because he’s had so much time to dig into him. I am so excited for his big moments in Act Two. I should also mention that it helps that James seems to have chemistry with everyone, from Thomas, to Jamie, to Samuel. All the people you want him to have chemistry with.
There is nothing to be said about Samuel beyond wow. His Scorpius is nothing like anything we’ve ever seen before. In a similar way to Theo, it’s the opposite to how Anthony or James played Scorpius. Brimming with confidence. Enthusiastic and excitable. His crush on Rose is so explicit and painfully cute. He’s just adorable, and he’s owning this character in a completely new way. Scorpius is Samuel’s now, and I’m delighted with him.
And with all that initial assessment out of the way, let’s have a look at the play itself!