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Harry Potter and the Damned Child on Broadway: EW review

Harry Potter and the cursed child

Genre of the stage
date of execution
Sam Clemmett , Anthony Boyle, Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni
John Tiffany

We gave him a A

For almost a decade, JK The Harry Potter series by Rowling It lay dormant, a complete masterpiece: there would be no more stories in the saga of the brave wizard. Rowling finished his series in 2007 with final character, not least because the greed of the superior Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows established a definitive canon with three key words: "Nineteen years later". Rowling took Potter. from the conqueror of the evil of 18 years to the father of three children of 37 years, a satisfactory, happy and unlimited end to the maturation of the child who lived, and that was fine. Everything was fine. Then comes Harry Potter and the Damned Child a play written by Jack Thorne based on a story by Thorne, director John Tiffany and Rowling. It carries a charged bill – "the eighth Harry Potter story" – and its very unlikely and incomparable existence shook a fandom, sent ripples through three industries, and confirmed the hope of a population of fans: this story is not over yet . [19659014] Harry Potter and the Damned Child is a theatrical marvel, for many reasons. It's the largest franchise title ever to hit Broadway, and the drive to an exorbitantly successful home run in the West End of London continues in New York. It is the most expensive non-musical work that has been produced on Broadway. It's a five-hour beast of a show, in a 1,600-seat theater beast, with a beast of 40 people composed of a creative team that includes the most famous living author of our time. Fantastic beasts, there are many. The play, which premiered on Sunday at the renovated Lyric Theater on Broadway, is so massive that it is better to examine it as two high halves: Parsed as a text, Cursed Child is a whirlwind of theme parks that controls vertiginously all the boxes you would expect to see from a show that carries the famous name of Potter; analyzed as a production, it is a technical achievement that redefines the possibilities of theater. Strong performances and moving themes make it a worthy work, but magical successes, instead of musical numbers, transfigure it into something totally different.

The work takes up during the epilogue of Relics of Death as a grown Harry (Jamie Parker) is guiding his youngest son, Albus (Sam Clemmett), to his first year at Hogwarts. Now a stressed out official from the Ministry of Magic, Harry staggers with vicarious enthusiasm as he charges his middle son with the expectation of the magical school's life-changing potential, which increases the weight the child already bears from the three substantial names that Albus Severus Potter resentful bears. Next to the tormented teenager on his maiden voyage on the Hogwarts Express are Rose Granger-Weasley (Susan Heyward), the popular daughter of joke shop owner Ron Weasley (Paul Thornley) and Minister of Magic Hermione Granger (Noma Dumezweni) , as well as the anguished Scorpius Malfoy (Anthony Boyle), who has a worrisome burden of his own like Draco's marginalized son (Alex Price), Harry's perennial rival at school (and now, the office).

To say more of what will happen next, in Cursed Child is a first tempting sequence or not, is to disobey Rowling and the producers to keep the many secrets of the program, understandably, already that much of the drama is unlocked by the continuing revelation of one Easter development after another, but what follows is a complex and intricate story of children disobeying parents, parents who disappoint children, political dangers, existential fear, escapes, robberies, duels, curses, centaurs, Dementors and reckl It is a magical artifact to weave everything.

The show, for its many sinuous turns, belongs directly to its most consistent tracks, its equally cursed children: Boyle and Clemmett, two beautiful English actors who, at 23 and 24, are like an exceptional leading couple like the Mormon children or evil girls. Retaking their roles in the West End, both youngsters are individually formidable but meteoric together, specifically in their happy take on the central theme of this and the Rowling saga in general: friendship. Good friendship . The kind of friendship that defeats ostracism, that overcomes evil, that attracts power from the triumph of an internal joke to a shared tragedy. Boyle plays Scorpius, apparently the greatest outcast of Hogwarts, with a fierce nerve and a wicked wit; It is fun and heartbreaking, and applies a number of outbursts, if effective, outbursts to service the epiphanic moments of your character. Clemmett, on the other hand, is a discrete marvel; like the bitter but well-intentioned Albus, he has the less showy and perhaps more prohibitive role, but with a youthful charm, Clemmett deftly dodges the blunders of adolescent anguish and the resentment of "Ugh, dad!" to remain incredibly sympathetic and empathetic even when he creates disaster after the disaster for himself. The sparks that the two actors create together are very dynamic, their occasional absence on stage does not go unnoticed.

That does not mean that the trio of actors playing Harry, Ron and Hermione is less captivating when it is adults' turn [redacted for secrecy]. With high expectations of their own to fulfill the titles they have inherited, Parker, Thornley and Dumezweni cautiously place a layer of reinvention measured above a solid canon of 20 years to become, like it or not, their new golden trio. Repeating roles in London has only strengthened consanguinity among performers, who credibly extend the tics and ambitions of young wizards at 40 years of age, as believable in their mature convictions as they were in their nascent teenagers. Ron de Thornley is the most instantly attainable, accessible and surprisingly faithful character to the established character (perhaps because here, Ron exists mainly as a comic relief). Dumezweni stuns like a cold, warm Hermione, hardened by politics, softened by fatherhood, a brilliant enigma that deals with the frustration of a problem she can not solve. Parker had a hard time imagining which of the many slices of Harry Potter would have risen to dominate his personality as an adult; Ultimately, the actor stands out for showing this adult Gryffindor as a brave but atrophied man, successful abroad but tormented inwardly and no less free from the trauma that defined his coming of age. Parker's tragic performance is exquisitely classic and provides a compelling and necessary baseline for the entire production, similar to the way a troupe of the best actors in England based the fantasy of the 2001-2011 film series Potter . It is on his serious shoulders that much of the drama rests (though, in a particularly witty sequence, Harry, Ron and Hermione tied around the stage like children once more, an almost miraculous change of tone that marks the most wicked moment of joy in the series.)

Elsewhere in the main cast, Poppy Miller & # 39; s Ginny is a thin film, marginalized but significant in fleeting breeding adventures (highly reflective of Ginny's supporting role in the series). Malfoy by Alex Price has changed the moans of the villain of yesteryear by ungrateful grumblers; his career with Scorpius is finely crafted if it is poorly served, moving and thoughtful in its limited time. The rest of the cast is full of new and well-conceived characters (like Rose) and deliciously played by the old (a sure revelation, say, is the theft of Myrtle scene); the skillful set fills the key gaps of Hogwarts and the wizarding world with fast elegant landgrabs, floating tables filled with baggage choreography and cloak robes by movement director Steven Hoggett. Grammy winner Imogen Heap's broody score is quite successful, effectively restoring the mysterious and nostalgic humor equally of director John Tiffany frequently during the four-part and five-hour show.

Of the many notable aspects of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child one of the strongest is the disarming ability of the series to evoke a previously untapped level of emotionality for the fans of Potter – and this is where this review becomes a bit complicated. Thorne's equivocal script, even with Rowling's thick brushstrokes, has been dismissed by some as a fantastical wonderland, but also opens up new points of view, particularly at the show's climax, which are totally unique in this work, unable to be replicated. It matters how innumerable is the consumption of books or movies. The elements that are referenced in Harry's life that are second nature to fans are re-examined in a way that will inexorably change them for franchise lovers; for this segment of audience members, the emotional revelations in the fourth act are worth the entire encyclopedic journey. There is a fundamental limitation, then, in the potential of participation for fans of Potter who did not attend this show. Yes, you can see it, and yes, you can enjoy it, but to what end? The universal entry points are the resplendent acts of magic and the pathos of fatherly stories: they are anchored throughout the five-hour experience, but nonetheless they are anchored. Among them, audiences are in this world or outside, and the program's heavy reliance on fallen characters, familiar settings and screaming name drops has only a small chance to register with a member of the audience who has never heard of it. of Dumbledore, much less can spell his name. Perhaps another critic who falls into this category can advise me if I am correct, but the access barrier is increasingly evident with each act that passes. And yet, with the same zeal I will say this: if you have deliberately avoided reading or seeing any piece of the Potter franchise, your possible alienation in Cursed child is not enough reason for this show to move

] Much nicer than me, however, the creative team anticipated this distancing problem and engaged powerfully with magic as the great equalizer here, the key to making sure that even the most disconnected member of the audience can sometimes be so ecstatic like any great Potter fan for the wonder of Damn kid . With each trick of magic, a phrase that feels reductive and, nevertheless, is precisely accurate for the dozens of occasional illusions that populate the stage, the crowd witnesses something spectacular, something that challenges you to challenge your expectations of what It can be done in the theater. Considering what the design team of Cursed Child has achieved on a technical level, Broadway will never be the same (certainly not always that this show is run, it might be worth consulting in another 19 years) . The illusion of the show and the magic designer Jamie Harrison and the head of special effects Jeremy Chernick are certain geniuses. The sets are minimalist but extravagant, a strange combination that shows an art brand by designer Christine Jones, with innovative lighting by Neil Austin (not so much for its aesthetic function but for pure functionality) and refined, well used, by Finn Ross and Ash Woodward. If cleverness brought Harry, Ron and Hermione out of many difficult situations, Cursed child bears the cloak Potter of the importance of practical brilliance.

In the speculative years between the initial announcement of the work and the first curtain in London, Rowling insisted that this chapter of Harry's story should be told on stage. Cursed Child with all its kinetic timelines, elegant theatricality and tangible magic, confirms the unique appeal of the author (and the continuous innovation of director Tiffany), but also presents a strange case of chicken and egg: yes was not informed on stage, should this story exist? Would this eighth Harry Potter tale that presents the necessary arcs for Harry and Draco's children surprise but also provokes and erases and truncates a canon for a singular entertainment marathon, works like a complete novel? It's a complicated dilemma, a double-edged wand, if you will, that charms and kills; the answer, for my part, is no. But this creation does exist, and the danger of speculating about the alternative reality is clearly a key lesson that is worth taking from Cursed Child . We are better to live and delight in this electrical moment for Broadway, where there is a real magic to do, really rarefied air to breathe in the majestic Lyric Theater, where an unprecedented extension of a beloved world is doing something so impossible to feel. much more real than it could ever be. It is such a unique, extraordinary and unforgettable experience as, for example, seeing a child with a scar in the form of lightning. A


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