A Goodbye to the Original Cast of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
It’s been an incredible 12 months for the Harry Potter fandom. We’ve seen brilliant additions to the universe in the form of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, exciting plans ahead of the series’ 20th anniversary, and of course, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Can you believe it’s almost a year since the play held its first previews on June 7, 2016, when fans were first asked to #KeepTheSecrets? But as the year mark approaches, so does change, with much of the original cast of the play moving on to new projects at the end of this week.
Final week…. wowsa. Here goes! @HPPlayLDN
— Sam Clemmett (@sam_clemmett) May 17, 2017
I was lucky enough to attend the very first preview of the play, witnessing the actors perform as their characters in front of an audience for the first time, and thought it might be fun to share my experience with you to commemorate the departure of the original cast!
I didn’t actually know I would be going to see the play until four days before previews began, when I randomly decided to check the Cursed Child website, only to find that there were two tickets available. Not believing my luck, I bought them, and four days later, I left for London.
Having arrived at the Palace Theatre and spent what felt like hours waiting in line (in fact, it probably was), we were allowed to go inside, seeing the Cursed Child merchandise for the first time. People were running, crying, waving their wands about. There were even journalists trying to ask us all questions as we were entering the building – it was unlike anything I’d experienced before.
Eventually, everyone settled in their seats, and it was time for the show to begin. Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and their children entered the stage, and it was clear to me, even from my seat way up in the balcony, that the actors were just as excited as the fans.
The entire room just radiated energy, swiftly becoming a theater experience like no other. The audience reacted to almost everything, with gasps and cries and laughs echoing around the room. Not to mention we were the only ones to experience the awkward owl incident…
Following that first performance, both the audience and the actors took to social media to share their thoughts, with it soon becoming obvious that this production was something special.
Last night was extraordinary to say the least… #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild
— Sam Clemmett (@sam_clemmett) June 8, 2016
Extraordinary days at the moment, and you're all being so generous about the whole thing. Thanks for having each other's backs. And ours.?X
— Jamie Parker (@DickLeFenwick) June 8, 2016
— Cherrelle (@CherrelleSkeete) June 9, 2016
The magic only continued during the second half of the play, although this time we were joined by none other than J.K. Rowling herself. At this point, people were actually leaning so far over the railings to get a view of her, it’s a miracle there wasn’t an accident. The things we’ll do for J.K…
Far too quickly, the play came to an end, with the full cast appearing on stage to deafening applause. It was evident that some of the cast were overcome with emotion at this point, which truly speaks to the overwhelming positivity that filled the theater at the time.
In the moments after leaving the theater, I remember thinking how right the cast was. Jamie Parker was the perfect Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni was everything Hermione Granger should be, and Paul Thornley was every bit as loveable as Ron Weasley, with the rest of the cast – whether playing characters new or old – being just as outstanding.
These memories make this week rather bittersweet. Although the show will go on, even heading to Broadway in 2018, it will never be quite the same. The original cast is part of an important moment within our fandom, which I, for one, will always remember fondly.
Moving on is almost always hard, with the cast of Cursed Child being no exception. Thank you for bringing our beloved characters to life once more. We’ll miss you!