Harry Potter fans have been spoiled lately. Three new digital short books released last month (Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, and Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies), one film (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and its script next month, the script of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child two months ago, and of course the play itself.
Now, as a fervent HP fan, I’ve been pre-ordering each new book religiously weeks in advance and have read all the bits and pieces of Rowling’s magical world that I could find. So of course I did everything I could to get my hands on tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
I don’t know if you realise how difficult it is to get tickets for this play! I completely missed the first batch of tickets sold at the beginning of the year (despite my fervour… must have been busy with other stuff, like moving to a new city and starting a new job… yep, that must have been it!), but I was so ready for the second one that occurred a few weeks ago… It started at 10am, but I was ready to enter the pre-queue (or however you call it), way before that, and only after 9 hours and a half of electronically queuing was I able to buy 6 tickets (as the play is in two parts, that meant I could only book tickets for 3 people). It then unsurprisingly sold out very quickly. Ah, also forgot to mention… the tickets I was then able to book were for September… 2017!!! Yep, folks, Harry Potter is THAT popular in case you hadn’t noticed! I was however surprised at the price: tickets start at £15/person/part so £30 for about 5 hours of Harry Potter awesomeness – well I call that a bargain!
So here I was, ready to endure a whole year of waiting for what promised to be the best show ever. Still, I couldn’t keep myself from reading the script, thinking it would satisfy my curiosity and help me wait, but it only spiked it more as I was dying to see how ON EARTH they would turn that into a play!
Patient, yes, but hey: if I somehow got offered the chance to see the show earlier than September 2017, I would take it in a blink! That’s why I tried my luck at the Friday Forty every Friday at 1pm, you know, just in case! And of course, I made my boyfriend do it as well.
The Friday Forty is organised by the official Harry Potter Play website, and it basically releases 40 tickets for every performance the following week for some of the very best seats in the theatre, at £40/person (£20/part). Needless to say that these seats are normally much more expensive than that (yes, when I mentioned the cheap ones above, I was talking about the super-upper-circle ones at the very back from which there’s usually a part of the stage you can’t see, you know which ones I mean, right?), and did I mention the over-a-year wait?
Well guess what? After about two months religiously logging in to try my luck at the Friday Forty, I finally managed to book some tickets!! Out of the thousands of people who log in every week, I just couldn’t believe my luck! Well, in fairness, my bf did… He’d kill me if I didn’t let him have the credit!
So last Wednesday, armed with my bright HP badges and the biggest smile we could perform, we walked down to the Palace Theater in Soho, where the magic began…
I’ll try to give a review without giving anything away, because I #keepthesecrets!
As I said earlier, I had already read the script. Unlike a lot of people very angry with JK Rowling (and her gang of writers) for the script only being a script (!!! people can be such i#@!£ts) and not a novel, I was agreeably surprised. It might have been, well first because I understood that a script might only be a script, but also because I actually didn’t expect anything from it or try to make any kind of assumptions. I just literally took it as it was.
I thought that it was good because it didn’t try to copy any of the older stories, it had a life of itself, and yet it was so perfectly satisfying (and kinda heartbreaking as well somehow) to see our favourite characters in history in their normal daily lives 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts!
I literally gulped the book down, and gosh did I wonder how it was even possible to turn such a story into a play.
Well, I might be gullible, but I actually think some proper magic was done on stage that night!
However, the danger of reading the script first is to be disappointed if something doesn’t turn out exactly how you imagined it in your mind. And that happened to me a few times, at moments that I thought really strong and intense when I read it and which didn’t happen to be that mind blowing on stage. But, to be honest, the other way round happened much more often!
I was also surprisingly very taken by the music… Nothing like what I imagined, very bold and not what you would expect from a Harry Potter piece, and yet, it worked perfectly!
I’m not going to tell you more, because that would be spoiling and I’d hate to do that to you, sweet readers. But I will say that I cried a few times (and I very obviously wasn’t the only one), but was that because the story was sad, or was it because of the emotional baggage that comes with following a story and its characters for 18 long years? Well, that’s not for me to tell!
Not only did I indeed grow up with Harry Potter (I read the first book at 10 and the last one at 18), but JK Rowling has been a huge source of inspiration for me (like so many others I’m sure). She’s a big part of the reason why I started writing, as a hobby and professionally, even if I haven’t found it in me to write anything fictional… yet!
Happy Potter! ⚡