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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).

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Cursed Child - New Cast - 24/5/17

Are there kinks that need to be ironed out? YES!

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: He has 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!


Ron

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.

Hermione

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.

Rose

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.

Harry

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.

Ginny

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.

Albus

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).

Draco

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.

Scorpius

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!

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First Impressions -- Act Four

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!