This review will contain spoilers.
After sitting impatiently at my computer for 3 hours, waiting for the release of the tickets, I did a happy dance around the house when I finally got through to booking them. 10 months later and I was sitting, all the way at the back of the auditorium, excitedly waiting for the play to begin.
Having already read the script (my review), I knew the plot. I knew what I loved and what I hated from it but was open minded to be swayed to love the whole thing – after all, reading it is definitely not the same as seeing it. Because I’ve already discussed the plot in my review of the book, I’m not going to go into detail about that here.
The actors were brilliant. They reflected the book versions instead of the film versions. Hermione was sharp at times, Ron was a bumbling fool, Harry had his short temper and could be an idiot and we saw a stubbon and protective Malfoy. My favourite character had to be Scorpius, I loved him when reading the play and loved him even more seeing him. Unlike Albus, who just wound me up. The play also brough back lots of our favourite (and most disliked) characters. I could hear laughter when people twigged that they were seeing Hagrid and there were audible gasps when people realised they were seeing Umbridge.
I was hoping for magic and they sure did provide. Although it was occasionally out of sync, fire and lights were used for spells which were very pretty. There were numerous gasps from the audience for different disappearances including the transformations during the poly-juice potion and being pulled into the ministry’s phone box. Harry’s transformation near the end was very clever. My favourite bit was the dementors, especially as they appeared throughout the auditorium. Scratch that, my favourite part was the way the whole stage looked liked it wobbled when they went through time – I still can’t figure out how it was done! Green screen? Lighting?
I loved the little bits of detail on the stage and around the theater. The paneling on the wall was painted the maroon of the Hogwarts express and had little ‘H’s. The signs throughout the theater were designed like the signs used in the film. In the bar, there were hundreds of clocks all stopped at the same time. I really liked the clocks around the stage and how they all span as time reversed.
The one thing that I disliked about the play was the dancers. Every now and then they had dance scenes. Sometimes it was used to do set change, this was understandable. The infuriating bit was when there was dancing just for the sake of dancing. It didn’t fit in the play and it didn’t progress the story, it seemed to only be there to show their swishy cloaks.
I also had a problem with the theater. Part of the reason they created a play was to give more people a theater experience. I personally had a horrible theater experience, through no fault of the play. The theater is very steep, with very cramped seats with very, very little leg room. It’s hard sitting in a room with people for an hour, let alone five. When you combined this with no aircon, it was an incredibly uncomfortable experience by the end of the play. If you’re going, definitely wear light and comfortable clothes and some water!
Overall, although I had problems with the plot, I really enjoyed the play. I would definitely recommend seeing it over reading it!