Saturday, May 20, 2017

This slightly incoherent ramble about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is about to begin. I haven't completely decided what to write yet... so I'm going to give you a preemptive spoiler warning here, just incase I don't quite keep the secrets.

I wasn't originally planning on writing anything about this play, but with the original cast change only a day away, I've found myself with a lot of feelings that just need to go somewhere—so decided to word vomit them in a post (instead of creating a thirty-tweet-long thread on twitter and embarrassing myself anymore than necessary).

It's safe to say that I've unashamedly been to see Cursed Child a fair few times now, and each time I have, it only seems to get better. This cast is incredible. And I don't just mean in the way they put on a performance five days a week... I mean it in the way that each and every one of them pours their heart into their roles, setting a bar so high that it seems almost impossible to reach. Their interpretations are so completely believable that you forget that they're playing a character, or that the world you're a part of for those five short hours isn't actually a reality.

Like a lot of Harry Potter fans, I was nervously excited to see how the wizarding world would translate onto the stage. Even though I'd read the script once it came out, I couldn't really picture how the characters and magic that I grew up with would carry through to another different medium. I remember reading certain things and thinking, 'How on earth are they going to do that?'... and then seeing it for the first time and thinking, 'How on earth did they do that?'. The stage magic is wonderful, and I can't imagine the Cursed Child story being effectively told in any other way. 

Jamie, Noma and Paul have done the golden trio more justice than I ever expected. Each of them has managed to somehow capture the character's nostalgic familiarity, whilst also giving them a depth that is entirely new and wonderful. The same goes for Alex, Poppy, Chris, Sandy, Barry, Paul... the list goes on. They've all done such an amazing job of making these timeless characters their own in the most amazing ways, making (what I thought would be) a difficult task look so incredibly easy.

When it comes to the next generation characters—namely Albus and Scorpius—any expectations I had have been wildly surpassed again and again. Sam (who is most definitely under appreciated) and Anthony are completely brilliant, and have fantastically moulded and evolved their characters into what they are now. From every line that they deliver, to each joke, speech, or mannerism... they do it perfectly. I can't say anything more that will do either of them the justice that they deserve. 

None of this takes into account all of the absolutely wonderful secondary characters, understudy's and swings, many of whom I've been lucky enough to have seen in all of their different roles. Cursed Child wouldn't be anywhere near what it is without them, and every single person (on stage or backstage) deserves as much praise and credit as anybody else involved in this play. 

Watching, meeting and getting to know this cast has been a privilege. They've brought this show together so seamlessly, giving life to a story and its characters in such a magical way that I can't even bare the thought of the original cast coming to an end.
I have no doubt that the new cast (along with those who are staying) will be as equally amazing... but I also know how much I'll miss the way Tom M says "Daaaaad", how Jamie adjusts his waistcoat, Stuart's snake hands, and Anto's face when Sam comes out of the water. I'll miss Jamie and Paul's polyjuiced scenes, Jeremy's Craig, and Alex's farmers market line. I'll miss everything about this cast. Because as phenomenal as they are whilst performing... It's not until you go to stage door that you realise these are not only exceptional actors, but also irrevocably kind and brilliant people.

I've had some of the best times of my life at the Palace Theatre this past year. I've made so many memories, friends, and gone out of my comfort zone in the most unexpected ways. It's been brilliant.

So, to the Cursed Child original cast...Thank you, and good luck. I can't wait to see what you do next.

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