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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’: Keep the secrets

By: - Columnist
/ 12:15 AM July 25, 2019
‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’: Keep the secrets

Scene from “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” —MANUEL HARLAN

This might be the most challenging article I’ll ever write.

The night before my final performances at the London Palladium (I shall submit more on this later on, but for now, allow me to say a huge thank you to all our audiences throughout the UK), we took in a full day at the theater with “the boy who lived”—the incredibly magical “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2.”

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It was a spur of the moment decision. On our way to London from York, I thought to check if tickets for this theatrical event were available—and they were! I had initially intended to see this a couple of years ago, but bad tonsillitis prevented me from going, so this was our chance to make up for it.

On a bright, sunny day, we convened at the front of the Palace Theatre (my old home when I played Eponine in “Les Miz” in 1996) and lined up to have our bags checked before entering the theater.

Once you enter, merchandise is made available for any fan of Harry Potter. We decided to be prudent, and get our bags filled before the second show.

I had a feeling I would be in for a magical afternoon and evening—and, boy, was I right!

Although I did have a copy of the script at home, I’m very glad I didn’t break it open. Every single moment came as a wonderful surprise. There were throwbacks to moments from the original series of books by JK Rowling, which brought us to tears, as well as illusions that dropped our jaws to the floor and kept them there.

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’: Keep the secrets

From left: Jamie Ballard as Harry Potter, Susie Trayling as Ginny Potter and Dominic Short as Albus Potter —CHARLIE GRAY

However, as much as all the technical magic know-how was fantastic to see, at the end of the day, it’s the humanity of these beloved characters that brought the show to life. To see Harry, Ron and Hermione as grown-ups struggling to raise their children … seeing Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy’s own travails as they navigate their unique circumstances as teenagers … and that classic battle of good versus evil.

It’s about getting over one’s own baggage to be a hero, and how good intentions don’t always bring about the best results.

It’s also about making mistakes as teens … and parents. And coming to terms with who one really is, whatever that might mean.

By the end, everyone was up on their feet not only for everything they saw, but how it made us all feel. Throughout the show, we laughed … we cried … felt goosebumps all over our bodies … and had our hearts broken and put back together.

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The entire ensemble was excellent, although I must say, the two actors playing Albus and Scorpius (Dominic Short and Jonathan Case) stole the show.

You needn’t be the hugest Harry Potter fan to appreciate the play, and even if you’ve read the book (by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany), there’s no way you’d be absolutely prepared for what you’ll see.

And now that I’ve seen the show, I can’t wait to dive into the book to relive that afternoon and evening.

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TAGS: Backstory, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Lea Salonga, London Palladium
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