Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Recap: June 15th/16th
So as some of you who read my tags may have guessed, I went
to see the play again this week. I wanted to hit a nice round number before my
first anniversary of seeing Cursed Child next Wednesday, and I’ve been hearing
such good things about how the new cast are developing that I couldn’t resist.
I was not disappointed.
I’d been told that the show is almost unrecognisable from
how it was on the 24th and 25th of May, and while that is
not entirely accurate, it is so much more than what it was. My impression,
particularly on the 24th, was of something raw and skeletal, that
needed filling out. The bare bones were all there, but there wasn’t much
detail, simply because they hadn’t had very much time to explore. And now
they’re 13 shows in, the detail is definitely coming.
I’m not going to do a full on line-by-line recap, but I have
too much to say not to write something, so I think this will just be a summary
of things I loved from each of the actors, and maybe a little bit about a
couple of my favourite scenes. I’ll attempt to keep this short (wish me luck).
Does this cast have the potential to be brilliant? Absolutely.
Jamie Glover as Harry Potter: I liked him. He wasn’t as shouty as Jamie P, but instead had this quiet presence that worked for him.
Emma Lowndes as Ginny Potter: I can’t really all that much about her yet as most of Ginny’s scenes come in Part Two. However, I like what I have seen so far. I felt she delivered the “So is mine” line perfectly.
Theo Ancient as Albus Potter: Hehas the potential to be a great Albus and he was much different to Sam. He was definitely nervous, but I felt he began to settle into the role in Act 2.
Thomas Aldridge as Ron Weasley: I bloody love him as Ron! During the Polyjuice Scene, when he is blocking Hermione from entering her office, he kept pushing her away from him and the door.
Rakie Ayola as Hermione Granger: Brilliant replacement for Noma. She plays AU1 Hermione more resigned to being stuck in a teaching job, but she plays that scene wonderfully.
Helen Aluko as Rose Granger-Weasley: Never saw her play Rose during Year 1, but I can see why they chose to cast her in the role permanently.
James Howard as Draco Malfoy: I can’t say anything more than I adore him as Draco and I am still so pleased to see him take over the role.
Samuel Blenkin as Scorpius Malfoy: I said it already, but I do prefer him to Anthony as Scorpius. He was just perfect! The library scene he delivered just beautifully.
Mark Theodore as The Sorting Hat and Hagrid: Mark doesn’t have the commanding voice that Chris had, but I did love him as the Sorting Hat and Hagrid. He uses his body a lot more to bring a little something extra to the roles. He was shaking his body slightly as he sorted the students and he announced Slytherin and Gryffindor in different ways.
Annabel Baldwin as Delphi Diggory: I don’t feel like I can say much about her as Delphi yet as right now, she is approaching the role in the same way as Esther did. However, I am looking forward to seeing how she plays it when we discover Delphi’s true identity.
April Hughes as Moaning Myrtle: OMG, I love her as Myrtle!!! So flirty!!!
Tom Mackley as Karl Jenkins and Dudley Dursley: Yay for Tom have a named role rather than being a swing!! I loved his hug with Joshua Wyatt during the First Task. They greeted each other in a way that suggested they had not seen each other in a while, with Tom now being a Hufflepuff and Joshua a Slytherin.
Overall, I think the casting team have done a great job with their choices for the new cast. I think, like with the original cast, they need time to settle in and become comfortable in their roles. Even so, I think we have a brilliant new cast to enjoy for the next year!
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
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!
Well, I wasn’t expecting the stage door we got… NINETEEN Cast Members and me, @aberorca and @torestoreamendsgot to speak with Sonia Friedman.
I must admit I was a little excitable at the stage door last night, but I was so pleased to be able to meet so many of them and I am excited for their year in the cast.
Let’s start with our main eight….
Jamie Glover came out to see the fans, hoping this will be a regular thing! Such a nice guy. Admitted to him he had me in tears earlier than normal and he apologised, bless him.
Emma Lowndes is actually quiet, a little reserved, but very sweet.
Love Thomas Aldridge in person as much as I love him as Ron. I was very excitable with him, admitting he had me from his first line. Loved that he was wearing a Keep the Secrets Badge.
Nearly didn’t recognise Rakie as, like Noma, wears wigs throughout the play. Such a lovely lady.
So much love for James at the stage door last night. Told him he was right about how he loved his son and how I now loved his son.
OMG, Samuel is just cutest, most adorable thing in the world. He is such a dork! Love him. Asked if I could take him home because he was so cute, but sadly he said I couldn’t! Hehe! Admitted to him I preferred him to Anthony, he was quite taken aback by that, though he confessed he had felt lucky to have been able to see Anthony perform.
Theo Ancient, bless him, I think he was really overwhelmed by all the love and support from the fans. Such a sweet guy.
Helen Aluko had managed to walk past us without us realising, so we ran to the end of the queue to catch her. She is such a dinky little thing and so lovely.
Onto our continuing cast members…
The moment Tom Mackley saw me made me laugh, called me the DSLR Selfie Queen! Love Tom loads, such a cutie!
So happy to see Annabel, we gave a bit of a cheer when she came out. Told her how impressed I was by her performance after having heard how amazing she was. Admitted I loved how she became a psychopath during Part 2.
Finally met Joshua, though, the photo didn’t go too well! Oops!
Loved seeing Martin and Barry!
And our other newbies…
Bless the lot of them, I think they thought we were all nuts, though I did tell them all we are not too scary!
James Phoon, I adore! @aberorca and @torestoreamends are photobombing me on purpose! We did tell him we loved the spare, because how can you not! He is very active on social media, so there is a good chance you will get a response from him. James is a massive Potterhead as well, spent the past year trying to get Friday Forty tickets before landing a role in it.
Love, love, love, April! She is so excited to be a part of the play, it shows in the way she interacted with everyone! We gave her a cheer when she came out and she has a constant smile on her face!
Henry, James M (nickname is Jumbo according to Annabel) and Rupert, bless them, they are definitely overwhelm by all the love from the fans and very sweet guys.
Adore Sarah Miele, love her accent and the very cool purple streaks in her wig. Such a sweetie.
I said with the original cast that they were generous with their time with the fans and this cast is most certainly going to be the same. They were impressed with us regulars at how many times we had been and how many more times we planned to come. They definitely appreciated us being there to support them for their first show!
I suppose these aren’t really first impressions anymore since I’ve had an hour to think about them, but here we go anyway.
That was completely phenomenal. I feel so proud and happy, especially of Theo. Samuel was tearing up at curtain call and he just looked so overwhelmed with joy.
I love the interplay between Thomas and James a lot. They have some hilarious little moments that just work so well. I also love how Thomas is with Rakie. They just glow as a couple. It’s beautiful.
Scorbus is real. I don’t really know what else to tell you. There were some truly unnecessary hugs in Godric’s Hollow, and in the penultimate scene, when Albus said ‘Better ask Rose if it’s the right thing to do’, he walked his fingers up Scorpius’s outstretched arm. Also, when Rose showed up, Scorpius started patting Albus on the shoulders like 'we’re just bros being bros, this is what bros do, we’re totally chill and not at all being awkward and talking about how you pity me’, but it just wasn’t the sort of thing you start doing when the girl you fancy appears. Not at all. Oh, and in the slow mo transition into one of the church scenes, Scorpius started waving at Albus like it had been ages since they saw each other and he’d missed him.
Theo is going to be really funny. He was tonight. He had some brilliant little moments. When they couldn’t understand the station master he stepped back and gestured to Scorpius like 'you deal with this because I cannot’. And when they were hiding from Bathilda he sort of leant against the wall and attempted to look super casual. Also he started laughing when Scorpius said he thought he might make the Quidditch team eventually. Apparently he has zero confidence in Scorpius’s Quidditch abilities. And most importantly, he nailed the pigeon racing line.
James Howard was great in all his scenes. Some super cute moments between him and Samuel. Also I like him with Jamie. Great farmer’s market line. Also, I think he handed Scorpius Delphi’s wand? He definitely did something, but Scorpius was looking at his hands like he’d just received something amazing and terrifying in equal measure.
Jamie. Jamie Jamie Jamie. I just enjoyed him. He got more shouty and angsty as it went along. The scene in Harry’s office will be great, and I loved how he listened to Dumbledore. He was fantastic during the Transfiguration part. The opening Incendio of the duel was bang on. And the last scene was sweet as hell. Just lovely.
Ginny gave Albus an extra hug after the initial one when they arrived in Godric’s Hollow.
I adore Rakie. I think she’s great.
April and Rupert were absolutely wonderful as Lily and James, and I loved the interaction between Lily and Albus. Albus started off hiding, but then walked out when he saw the blanket, like he couldn’t resist, and Lily waved back at him in confusion when he waved to her.
Annabel was on fire. Even John Tiffany thought so. She was simply incredible. Absolutely came alive as evil Delphi at the height of her powers.
Honestly, I just love everyone. This show is in safe hands. I feel so confident in every one of these cast members. I had so much fun tonight. And everyone is so sweet at stage door.
I was talking to Sonia at stage door, and she was saying that she’s in the business of creating families. A cast is a family. And this is a really wonderful family who have so much time ahead to bond and grow. They’re going to be, already are, amazing.
Watch this space for a full recap once I gather my thoughts and stop flailing!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Recap: Part Two -- 25/05/17
Note: In case anyone’s interested, just this part alone is my longest ever recap. In total, both parts of this recap reach almost 21,000 words. I hope this is enough detail for you all!
I’m not going to lie. After Wednesday night I felt really
weird. Not unhappy, just odd. On Wednesday it felt like I was going to see
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but then it was just so different on
Wednesday night, and there were so many things that I was apprehensive about
for Part Two, that I simply didn’t know what to expect yesterday.
It’s weird sitting in a familiar theatre, about to watch a
play with a script you know back to front, and characters you know inside out,
and feel that you have no idea what is about to happen, or what to expect. I
was nervous, a little apprehensive, and desperately in need of a hug, which @aberorca kindly provided.
But then it began, and all my fears and worries were
allayed. I feel so full of joy and excitement right now. That was really great,
and some of the scenes are already my favourite versions of those scenes.
If this is what an ass kicking from John Tiffany does for
people, then maybe we all need one of those in our lives. It seems to inspire
I’m going to start by reassessing some of the characters,
and giving some impression of the characters we only saw in Part Two. Then
we’ll get down to the detail (of which I’m not sure how much there’ll be,
because my brain spent most of the show screaming with euphoric relief).
David is quite literally everything you want in a Snape. He
was quiet in a menacing way, full of suppressed emotion, with just the right
touch of humour. I enjoyed everything about his performance.
James Phoon’s Craig might be the most adorable thing I’ve
ever seen. He sounds terrifyingly similar to Jeremy in some scenes (which I
don’t think is deliberate), and he was just pretty great.
Rupert looks so young as Cedric, but he still exudes the
same heroic goodness that Milligan always did. He really blew me away in the
few seconds he had. It was such a touching scene.
You think you’ve seen all there is to Annabel’s Delphi, but
then she captures the boys and attains her full power, and she reaches maximum
creep mode. This Delphi is Bellatrix all over: laughing hysterically at the
boys’ pain, revelling in mayhem, actually licking her lips when she sees she’s
causing fear, like she loves the taste of it. She’s brutal and awful and gross.
This Draco is impressive and powerful, but so broken and
afraid. He does things and hates himself for them. He’s terrified of the
possibility of sending himself, and more importantly his son, back to
Voldemort’s world. His grief seems to ache. He’s become such a good man. And as
well as the weight of the serious moments, he’s incredibly funny too.
Sweet, funny, full of pain just like his father, but somehow
still in love the world around him. He absolutely adores his dad, and he loves
his best friend. He wouldn’t hurt a fly and he’s disgusted by the idea that any
version of himself could cause pain.
Harry is so open to Albus, so warm towards him, so intent to
listen. When he’s told to ‘be honest to those you love, show them your pain’ he
really takes it to heart. He’s heartbroken with guilt over the people who’ve
died on his behalf. I loved the tone that Jamie brought to him in this act.
I’m going to be honest, I’m still not entirely sure who
Albus is, but in a really exciting way. In Part Two there were flashes of a
genuinely funny, awkward, ridiculous Albus. An Albus who desperately cares
about the people around him. An Albus who adores his best friend and his
father. An Albus who could be so many things. Losing the establishing half of
Albus’s character makes it difficult to assess, but I’m so excited by the
possibility of Theo’s Albus, and I’m jealous of anyone who gets to see him do a
really good Part One in the next month, cause I think that’s where you’ll find
the heart of him.
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