cursed child

in defence of cursed child


this week, i am seeing harry potter and the cursed child for the eighth time. yeah, i know, i'm the worst. it is my absolute favourite show in the world and it is my greatest wish that every harry potter fan could see it live and with the original cast because i think it is truly a remarkable experience. i'm aware that not everyone is as taken by the show as i am (listen, i know the plot is shit!), but i thought i'd do a little post to explain my relationship with the show and why i love it. and also why it is not the eighth harry potter book. heads-up: this will not contain detailed spoilers (#keepthesecrets), but it will reference elements of the plot and talk about characterisation. mostly, it will be about the feeling of the show and why it makes me warm and fuzzy inside. also it will be a love letter to jamie parker, the original and only possible harry james potter.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND: the first three times were in london, with the original west end cast, and the following five have been on broadway with the original cast, as well (the the exception of one performance with an understudy ginny). the first time i saw the show, it was still in west end previews and the play had not come out yet, which was incredible. for reference, the tickets were all purchased in very different ways. about half of them were purchased very far in advance through the cursed child's original ticketing vendors (furthest being about fourteen months before one performance). one set of tickets was acquired at a sort of fan event by standing in line on 46th for 8 hours in february or march with my friend jeremy. one ticket bought on ebay by my girlfriend, one on stubhub, and one friday forty win. the friday forty win is a weekly lottery wherein the tickets are $20 per show, so $40 total, and are generally the best seats in the house. the win was in december 2018 after having entered every single week since the show opened in new york in march. we sat in the very front row and the below photos were taken from those seats. it was incredible. 
i also want to note that this is all based on seeing the show. i believe you can hate all you want and rant and rave and say you're never paying money to see it because you think it reads awful and i get that, but until you have actually seen it, not just read the script, you have not experienced the show in the way it was intended. like any play, it is meant to be performed and seen and interpreted from there. does that suck? yes. it is elitist in the way all theatre is inherently elitist and relies on accessibility to be appreciated in full. will every harry potter fan be able to get to london, new york, melbourne or (eventually) san francisco, pay however much for tickets and sit through 6ish hours of theatre? not a chance. and that's a shame. however, i personally do not believe anyone can claim to understand this show as a whole without seeing it. part of me almost wishes it had never even been published. though, that again would be withholding based on accessibility and shitty, but it boils my blood to see people comment on the voice of characters in the show without having truly heard them. anyway, not ideal, just my opinion, but that's where i stand on that debate. i truly doubt any playwright hopes their work is only ever read and not seen. that's not the nature of the medium. it is for all of these reasons for despite my love for the show, harry potter and the cursed child will never been the eighth harry potter book they sort of marketed it as. it is it's own separate, lovely thing, but not part of the original canon for me. okay. moving on.

THE ISSUES the plot of cursed child is an absolute disaster. it's all over the place, it leaves so many holes unresolved, it returns to elements of the original series that were questionable the first time round and makes them even more messy. some moments do very much feel like fan fiction and fan service and if i never hear about severus snape again, it will be too soon. on paper, the characters feel weird and not like people we spent seven books and countless re-reads with. like the paper they exist on, they are flat. personally, I find script books in general give little room for true characterisation and depth, because they rely on actor interpretation to bring them to life. there's a reason in school when you're studying plays, your teachers made you act them out. but anyway, i degress. there is a glaring issue of poc erasure, which i will only allude to due to spoilers, but if you'd seen/read the play, you will understand and that is obviously garbage. 

also, i cannot talk about this without mentioning the queerbating. albus and scorpius are very music depicted as being romantically in love with one another, whether they know it or not!! my only hope here is that they are fourteen at the end of this show and i didn't come out to myself till i was twenty-three. so. they have time. but boy does this play yank you around with their obvious affection for one another. 

SO WHY DO I LIKE IT? not since the first and second harry potter films have i experienced the same magic that i felt when i read the harry potter books for the first time. yes, the show is an incredible display of modern theatrical technology and the magical spells feel real. the lighting and sets are unmatched in their sophistication and the show is a visual marvel. but also the magic of harry finding out he is a wizard and having a whole world opened up to him, and therefore for us, the readers, is in this play. the energy, the vibe, whatever you want to think of it as, if alive in that theatre and damn it is magical. everyone i know who has seen this play has felt the same way. like they had been returned to their childhood selves, returned to opening that book for the first time and stepping into sometime new and wonderful. 

then there is the cast. noma dumezweni, the first black hermione, is a dream. she has hermione's wit and cleverness, but also her softness and empathy and humour. paul thornley is hilarious and brings to life ron weasley's "puckish sense of fun." poppy miller is every bit as sharp as ginny weasley, my favourite character, but with a vulnerability we rarely see in the original books. i was never much of a draco fan growing up, but alex price made me one with his new interpretation and growth of the malfoy. sam clemmett and anthony boyle as albus and scorpius are a fantastic duo, and definitely in love, and really carry this story. there is a reason everyone raves about boyle's earnest, hilarious, and empathetic scorpius; he's impressive. all of this talent is immense, but i cannot stress to you the absolute perfection that is jamie parker's harry potter. daniel radcliffe, who? jamie gives harry the voice that i read from the age of six. harry's kindness, his quick-wit, and reluctance to be the leader he is so good at being. harry's hot-headedness, and terrible penchant for speaking (or yelling) at his loved ones without thinking. he embodies a child who has grown up mostly without a father figure, has painful PTSD, and is now struggling with what type of father he is meant to be. he is my harry potter. i feel incredibly fortunate to have gotten to see him all these many times and if i could see him a hundred more, i would. 

this show brings to life elements of the characters that i only ever read about. it makes me laugh and cry and everything in between. it is truly magical and i wish all of you could experience it, too. i'll be forever grateful for the time i spent in the palace theatre and the lyric theatre with this story. do i wish it had a better plot? sure do! do i still have horrified flashbacks to the first time i experienced the trolley witch scene? you know it! but it is my favourite thing, it can have all of my money, and i can't wait to see it for time number eight later this week. 
FINAL NOTE: don't talk to me about pottermore (wizards...shit themselves...for years) or post-DH publication jkr. it hurts me. 

book review

what i've read // i'll be gone in the dark by michelle mcnamara


my first read of 2019 was i'll be gone in the dark: one woman's obsessive search for the golden state killer by michelle mcnamara. this is a true-crime nonfiction book chronicling michelle's, well, obsessive search to identify the golden state killer 30+ years later. i don't claim to be particularly verse in the genres here, as i don't read a time of true-crime or nonfiction that isn't a memoir, but mcnamara's writing was thorough, engaging and had me on the edge of my seat. often reading like fiction, she brought to life the horrors of what this man did and had me jumping at any creak in the night. the authors' passing, especially before publishing this book and before the capture of the golden state killer, is devastating, but i think her husband and publishing team kept her tenacity, her passionate spirit, and touching empathy alive in this book. ✩✩✩✩.5

“what is the lasting damage when you believe the warm spot you were just sleeping in will be your grave?”

day in the life

the wing, dumbo


my roommate used to be a member of the wing, and one of my close friends works for the company, so i'm quite lucky to be a semi-frequenter of the woman-only work collective. the space is so inspiring (despite my apathetic face in the right photo), the food here is amazing, and it's gorgeous af. if i was a full-time freelancer, i would definitely part with the painful amount of money to be a full-time member and spend all of my time here. what's the point of this post? honestly, couldn't tell you. just needed a ~first post~ and took these photos fairly recently. if you're looking for a blog that always has a purpose or a point, perhaps you best move along. though i'd love it if you stayed. 

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