Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

This month’s book club pick is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by Jack Thorne. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne.

Last month I was in Melbourne so I took the opportunity to see both Part One and Two at the Princess Theatre.

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I saw both parts on the same day. If you are planning to see both parts, and I can’t imagine why you would only see one, then for the experience I recommended seeing them on the same day. The alternative is to see it consecutively across two nights.

The only other time I have seen both parts of a two part play on the same day was when I saw Angels in America – Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika, which was also an amazing experience.

So if you are up for a five-hour theatre experience, go for it. The matinee was at 2pm and the evening performance at 7.30pm. Part One is approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes (including a 20 minute interval) and Part Two is approximately 2 hours, 35 minutes (including a 20 minute interval).

I started my morning at The Store of Requirement (6 Smith St, Collingwood), which is a store selling Harry Potter merchandise. It is a 15 minute to 20 minute walk from the Princess Theatre. Click here to read by post on The Store of Requirement.

I picked up my tickets before lunch and browsed the small shop in Princess Theatre selling Cursed Child merchandise. I’m glad I did this then considering how busy it was at showtime.

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Fridge magnets

The Princess Theatre is an amazing venue for live theatre. The theatre first opened in 1854 as the Astley’s Amphitheatre. It was renovated and renamed the Princess Theatre and Opera House. It was rebuilt in 1886 as the theatre it is today.

I have been here twice before for Matilda the Musical (2016) and The King and I (2014).

The Princess Theatre received a much needed $6.5 million renovation prior to the Cursed Child moving in. The theatre’s last major renovation was in 1989.

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Matilda the Musical at Princess Theatre (2016)

When the audience left the theatre they handed out #KeepTheSecrets badges. I will keep this review spoiler free.

The play’s cast is made up predominately of Australian and New Zealand actors. Majority of the cast do a solid job. William McKenna was my favourite as Scorpius Malfoy with his awkward, goofy, nervous charm.

The production uses many traditional elements of theatre staging, such as wires, trapdoors, and quick costume changes to bring the magic alive.

Personally I don’t think the plot was worth two full-length plays and would have liked a tighter singular standalone play. Despite this the two plays are full of nostalgia for Potterheads and is a fun theatrical experience.

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The Store of Requirement has Australia’s largest range of officially licensed Harry Potter merchandise.

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The Store of Requirement opened in Stamford, Queensland on Harry Potter’s birthday July 31st in 2017. A year later they opened the Melbourne store in the inner-city suburb of Collingwood.

Collingwood is one of the oldest suburbs in Melbourne and is approximately 3 kilometres north-east of the CBD.

Expect the store to be busy with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child currently playing at the Princess Theatre.

There are Hogwarts acceptance envelopes lining the floor as you enter the store. The ground floor of this old heritage building is home to an array of merchandise from the Harry Potter book and film series and the Fantastic Beasts series.

Upstairs they serve a selection of Harry Potter inspired cupcakes and their Butterscotch Brew (served hot or cold, with or without cream). The Butterscotch Brew is brewed locally at Craft & Co. up the road.

The Store of Requirement is at 6 Smith Street, Collingwood (next to the McDonalds on the corner of Smith Street and Victoria Parade).

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Mandrake cupcake and Butterscotch Brew

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Book Club Pick: August 2019

HarryPotterCursedChild

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two: The Official Playscript of the Original West End Production

Author: Play by Jack Thorne. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Series: Playscript – Harry Potter series

Country: Great Britain

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

First Published: 2016

Pages: 343 pages

Publisher Description:

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later…

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne. It is the eighth Harry Potter story and the first to be officially presented on stage. This Special Rehearsal Edition of the script brings the continued journey of Harry Potter and his friends and family to readers everywhere, immediately following the play’s world premiere in London’s West End on 30 July 2016.

Review:

Nineteen years have passed since the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Draco are now adults with children of their own.

In the first Act we learn that Harry is now the Head of Magical Law Enforcement and married to Ginny, who edits the sports pages for the The Daily Prophet. Hermione is Minister of Magic and married to Ron, who runs the joke shop, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.

The plays focuses on Harry Potter’s youngest son Albus Severus as he is about to attend Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Albus makes a friendship with Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry’s childhood school nemesis Draco. Albus breaks the Potter family tradition of being sorted into Gryffindor and is sorted into Slytherin alongside Scorpius.

Unlike Harry, Hogwarts is not a magical place for Albus. He is miserable there. Both Albus and Scorpius are bullied by their fellow students. Scorpius because of the rumours that he is the son of Lord Voldemort and Albus because of his family’s legacy that he cannot live up to.

The rift between Albus and Harry continues to grow as Albus struggles to grow up in the shadow of his father. This leads Albus to make many choices, which are the basis for the events that follow.

I do not think the story warrants a two-part play. It could have been condensed into a tighter standalone play.

There is nostalgia a plenty with many elements from the Harry Potter series peppered throughout including Marauder’s Map, Harry’s invisibility cloak, Polyjuice potion, time-turners, and many more.

The book is written in playscript format. I have read and studied playscripts in high school and at University level, so I had no problem adjusting to reading a playscript, but some for some readers this may make take some getting use to.

It is also important to realise that this script is written by Jack Thorne based on an idea by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. Tiffany is the show’s director. I understand promoting and marketing it as the eighth story but I think of it similar to the Harry Potter film franchise. It has Rowling’s seal of approval and involvement but it as separate text.

Stay tuned for my experience of seeing the show live in Melbourne.

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Check out my other Harry Potter related posts:

FILM REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Experiencing the world of Harry Potter

BOOK vs. FILM: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

FILM REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – illustrated edition

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Book Club Pick July 2018)

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (Book Club Pick November 2016)

 

Links:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Global Website

 

Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.