The Magic of Unbounded Creativity in the West End
If it weren’t sold out for at least the next 18 months, I’d implore you to get on a plane and get yourself to the Palace Theatre in the West End in London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, yet another burst of creativity inspired by JK Rowling. Over two nights, which is in itself a bold innovation, we returned to the world of wizardry that stretched from Kings Cross platform 9 3/4 to Hogwarts and beyond.
I’d be subjected to the excruciating pain of the Cruciatus Curse if I were to provide any more details or spoilers. Rowling collaborated with writers Jack Thorne and Jack Tiffany to help us longtime Harry Potter fans reconnect with the magical world she brought to life in the books and movies that I was reasonably sure could not be outdone. I was wrong.
The magic that comes to life on this theatre through magnificent staging and special effects was more spell-binding than I ever could have imagined or hoped for.
And thanks to my daughter Claudia, now living in London, we snagged fourth row center orchestra seats to both nights of the play. I don’t want to know how many hours she must have spent online to score such terrific seats. (And fortunately I’ve forgotten the cost!)
“Dudley is sitting right in front of us”…”Dad, Ginny Weasley is right next to me!”
Claudia was enamored with Harry and his world from the first lines of the first book, which I believe she’s read now well more than a dozen times.
This Potter fascination accelerated when we managed to score tickets for the whole family to the world premiere of the second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, flying to London, dressing in our finest, doing the whole red carpet routine and finding ourselves seated right there amidst the cast — as in literally right next to those we would watch grow up through the remainder of the movies. My daughters roamed around before the movie began meeting the cast and getting autographs.
My own spine tingled a bit as we were leaving and I realized I was standing right next to Alan Rickman telling Maggie Smith he’d see her at the cast party. And that’s where we all met JK Rowling herself on the sidewalk just outside the entrance to the Savoy Hotel.
By that point, we were hopelessly hooked and Harry Potter was part of our family.
But Back to the Play. . .
Now, you can do whatever you want, obviously, but Rowling published a manuscript of the play just as it opened in the West End. I strongly recommend not reading it. My daughter did and assured me that it was nothing like reading the books and conveyed none of the magic we saw unfold on stage — and perhaps even spoiled it a bit. So, resist the urge if you can.
But the wait to see this play in person may make you a very old Muggle. While I was in London to see it, another 250,000 tickets were released for sale, so this play is going to be around and sold out and raking in the dough for years to come.
Meanwhile, you can get your Rowling fix from another of her inspirations coming soon to the big screen — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — starring the versatile Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne.
I suspect my daughter already has managed to get her opening day tickets!