“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Joins New York Comic Con to Look at the Magic of the Show
The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child panel at New York Comic Con 2019 was everything you would expect: chilling, magical, and inspiring. The first guest called to the stage was Harry Potter himself. James Snyder walked onstage to a roaring crowd. He introduced himself and asked the audience which House they belonged to. After the crowd calmed down, he announced that he wanted to stay true to the production and remain spoiler-free to #KeepTheSecrets.
James Snyder called two guests to join him on the stage: Benjamin Wheelwright, who previously played James Sirius Potter, and James Brown III (or @jamesbrowniii, as he joked about during the panel), who previously played Bane. After playing these parts in the show, they now find themselves backstage helping the actors re-create the magic.
These two guests began to introduce the magic of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Here are my top five moments from the Cursed Child panel, of course, spoiler-free.
1. Steven Hoggett and the Re-Creation of Cursed Child
Steven Hoggett, the movement director, wanted to make the show simple enough so that a child would be able to re-create it in the comfort of their own home. Wheelwright went on to explain that Hoggett had an idea in his head that children or anyone can take their kitchen chairs, blankets, and other household items to make magic themselves. He wanted the show to be full of magic and wonder. I absolutely loved this idea!
2. Learning About the Incredible Magic of Cloak-ography
Benjamin Wheelwright and James Brown III came out, and the two spoke about the many movements that Cursed Child requires. The audience was told that the show has 72 transitions, all choreographed and perfected before the actors take the stage. Another actor from the show came onstage to show audiences how exactly they transition between scenes using cloaks, but we can’t disclose that information because we must keep the secrets! Just know that it is outstanding, and even though we now know how it works, it is still mind-blowing.
3. The Beauty of Wand Dancing
We were surprised to be given the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at wand dancing. I wasn’t completely sure what this term meant until James Snyder brought some of the show’s Hogwarts students onstage to display that the wand not only chooses the wizard, but it also moves the wizard. Wheelwright and Brown explained that each actor is given a wand, and since the wand moves the wizard, every actor moves differently. They told us that the show’s choreography is not like every other show, where actors do the same, graceful steps; in this case, the wand does the dancing.
If you haven’t seen the show, there are Dementors that join some of the characters onstage. When reading the play initially, everyone wondered how the developers would re-create the fear that the Dementors drag along with them. The movement team and creators of the show wanted to make the Dementors as terrifying as we imagine them being. The whole show re-creates the wizarding world that we know and love, so when bringing the Dementors to life, the creators wanted to be sure that the audience left the theater terrified. Matt Mueller, who plays Ron Weasley, said that the Dementors from the show really do scare him! After we saw a clip of the Dementors onstage, we felt scared and cold!
5. The Love and Support the Cast Has for One Another
After the presentations on cloak-ography and wand dancing, James Snyder, Benjamin Wheelwright, and James Brown III were joined by Matt Mueller, Bubba Weiler (Scorpius Malfoy), and Diane Davis (Ginny Potter). As they answered fan questions, they showed the audience how close they really are. The way they all interact with each other is the same way their characters do. They love each other and give each other endless support. Diane Davis and James Snyder explained that there is a little room near the stage where the cast likes to go to watch the monitor and cheer each other on, especially when there are new actors in the play. Each cast member gave their thoughts on the magic portion of the show and if it became different once they were cast; Mueller said it best: “You love the show you’ve seen, and to be a part of it is just as magical.” They all made it clear that the cast, characters, and story make it so wonderful and that’s how they are able to keep the magic alive.
Overall, the panel was filled with laughter, curiosity, and love. Everyone was able to come together and experience everything that this show represents. The display of the new logo, the new trailer, and the cast expressing their true feelings about their characters were really special. It was a joy to get a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. As James Snyder said, though, if you saw the show in one of its destinations, or came to the panel at New York Comic Con, be sure to keep the secrets.