I remember the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was in the third grade and the book was on the banned reading list. I had to remove the sleeve and read the book in my lap because Catholicism and magic didn’t go hand in hand. By the end of the first chapter I was hooked. I needed to know all about this Harry Potter.
Like most fans Harry is still a huge part of my life. The books and the films signify my childhood. Though to be completely honest I still read the books, own too much official merchandise that it embarrasses my family and I’ve had the inkling of wanting to get a tattoo (sorry mom!). When the Harry Potter Play was announced I knew I had to see it.
It didn’t matter that I lived in New York and the play was going to be in London. I would have traveled to the far ends of the earth to see the play. Hell, I would have spent half my yearly salary in order to see Harry come to life. The day the tickets were announced I was on the bus to work and kept obsessively refreshing the page in order to get my hands on some. The panic was real and my anxiety was at an all time high. I was sweating as I went through the tunnel on the express bus and lost my internet connection therefore losing my tickets just as I was about to submit my credit card information.
I had to start all over again. Refresh–head into the train station. Refresh-shit, there’s no internet connection on the 1 train. Refresh–crap, I have a meeting at work.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.
The earliest tickets I could get were two years away but it didn’t matter. I was heading to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! It was all I could talk about that day.
If I’m being honest it was all I could talk about for the past two years. With every month that passed I was getting closer to London. When the play started I refused to read any reviews and I went back and forth about reading the screenplay. Once I got the book in my hands I caved. I could still be surprised once the time came but I could also secretly memorize every single line (I told you I’m obsessed) and still shake my leg in anticipation throughout the entire play.
Two years later, once I finally made it to London, seeing the outside of the Palace Theatre was a dream come true. As I followed my map on my iPhone, each step I took was filled with an overwhelming sense of joy. I tried to play it cool as I stood on line but my heart swelled at the red and gold of Gryffindor scarves from the others waiting with me. We were all buzzing. It felt like magic.
The play was not a let down. I’ve read reviews and talked to people about the play after I saw it–and yes, they are mixed. I myself felt nervous when I was waiting for the play to begin. What if it didn’t live up to my expectations? But it did. In order to #keepthesecrets I won’t going into too much detail but I will say this:
During the last act of the performance there was not a dry eye in the theatre.
I wept openly as did everyone around me, men, women, people of all ages were moved by the performance of Harry and co. Since most of the scenes were relatively short, the ‘magic’ they were performing didn’t feel overdone. It came in quick bursts, sometimes in the blink of an eye, that even I had a hard time figuring out the mechanics behind it.
The actors were superb. They brought to life the magical world that I had fallen in love with. Jamie Parker’s (Harry Potter) performance was so raw. The emotions he was portraying felt real. There was a moment where I had the urge to scream out loud in order to warn him of the tragedy to come.
If you can get your hands on some tickets I’d recommend the play in a heartbeat. You’ll be experiencing more than a play. The sense of community is astounding, sitting there with more than a thousand other fans buzzing around you, the energy doesn’t compare to the one at a ball game or concert. It’s greater. The nostalgia factor will be high and if you’re a true fan once you sit in your seat you’ll feel a sense of home. Just remember to bring a packet of tissues and offer to share with your neighbor. Trust me, you’ll need it.