My Thoughts on Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

I have tried to keep this post spoiler free, but there may be a few minor leaks.

Ok so I am SO late to the party, but yesterday I finally saw the play that everyone’s been talking about for almost two years now: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.

When the play first opened, I was so sure that I’d never get the opportunity to see it that I did let myself read the book, but given that it was over a year ago, I had only a rough idea of what was going to happen and had forgotten a lot of the detail, so I went in with a fairly clear mind.

We did parts one and two in the same day, and living two hours drive from London, that meant that our whole day was taken up with the show, once you factor in travelling and getting around London and over 5 hours of being in the theatre over the two sittings.

Its safe to say that the show was incredibly impressive. The staging and the special effects were second to none, from curses flying through the air, beautiful patronus charms, terrifying dementors and objects (and people!) flying left right and centre. But aside from the special effects, even just the regular movement of cast and props on the stage was brilliantly thought out, to Hogwarts famous moving staircases to things disappearing with a swoosh of a cape, and I also loved the talking portraits.

The cast also did a fab job, although it took me a little while to get used to all of them – I thought some characters were a little over-acted, but once we got into the second part I’d either gotten used to it or it had been toned down a touch. Scorpius and Albus really were the stars of the show, and what I thought was great was how hilariously funny some bits of the story were, which was something that didn’t seem apparent in the book of the play; the whole audience was in stitches at times.

Personally, my only real negative is that I really felt like it could have easily been condensed into one play, and given how easily I think that could have been done, I think that its a little unfair to make people fork out for two tickets to be able to see the complete story. There were quite a few scenes that felt a little stretched out, some parts that probably weren’t strictly necessary at all and didn’t add much to the play as a whole, and I just thought that you could nip and tuck a few places without losing any of the main story at all, and get it down to a normal, if not slightly longer, single show, rather than 5+ hours that the two parts make altogether. Its my only gripe.

Did I cry though? If you know me even only slightly well, the gauge of how good something is in whether or not I cry. I think I expected to cry in quite a few places, but I didn’t, and that’s not because I wasn’t loving it, its because I was so busy being swept up in whatever emotion the play was making me feel. I did have a little sob though, right near the end, as the cast stood together on the stage and ‘watched’ something that the audience couldn’t see, but we could hear – I’m trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but if you’ve seen the play I hope you know which bit I mean. The same part made me cry when I read the book of the play, but hearing it rather than reading it just hit all sorts of emotions and the tears came streaming down. It was the only part that I cried at, but it was probably the most important; it was so well done and I didn’t know how they would portray it on stage, but the way they did it was just right.

I’m so glad that I can finally say that I’ve seen it, and now I know that the book doesn’t do the story much justice at all, so if you have read the book and felt a little meh about it, trust me, watching it is SO much better. On stage it was, well, magic.

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7 Things I Love About the WB Studios Tour


While the UK is devoid of our own Harry Potter theme park, we Brits seek some solace knowing that as well as being the setting and home of Harry, JK and the magical world that we have all madly fallen in love with. It also means that we have the WB Studios tour – the home of the world we fell in love with in the movies

I first visited the Studios in 2012, when it opened, and last weekend I finally got to go back, having bought tickets for Matthew’s birthday present, and being back surrounded by the magic reminded me of all the things I love about this ultimate HP fan destination!

1. That opening bit

SPOILERS! The moment when you’re sat in the introductory theatre, and suddenly the screen disappears and you’re at the door to the Great Hall. JAW DROPS.

2. Neville’s cardigan

Is there anything more iconic than in the last film when Neville appears – no longer chubby and bumbly – wearing that knitted cardigan and ready to kick some Death Eater butt? You can see that cardigan like 4 feet away.

3. Trinkets EVERYWHERE

Literally every table and glass cabinet is crammed full of the teeny tiny props that you forget about when you think back over the movies – I could look for hours!

4. The Weasley clock

As well as the self-knitting scarf and the self-washing pot in the Weasley’s living room, I’m always drawn to the infamous family tracking clock, which is forever one of my favourite quirks of that family.

5. Buckbeak

Who doesn’t love a Hippogriff? Well, other than the Malfoys.. The animatronic magical beast makes me so happy!

6. Diagon Alley

On my first trip I spent ages looking at all the tiny details in the shop windows, and the signs and the brickwork – the detail is just phenomenal! I also love how small it is, because you can really imagine it being crammed with witches and wizards bustling around broom-shopping.

7. That scale model

Last week I was a little upset that there was scaffolding over part of the castle so Matthew couldn’t appreciate it in all its glory, but its just so perfect! In the films you can never really get a clear idea of the layout of the castle, only seeing little sections at a time, but its so stunning being able to see it as a whole.

I mean, these are just a few of the incredible experiences at the tour, and I love how the studios are still developing to include more of the parts of the film – the addition of the Hogwarts Express since my first visit was really cool!

Its such a fun day out for all, and if you’re not travelling by car, its really easy to get to using public transport – we got the train from Euston to Watford Junction, then hopped on the tour bus that runs directly from outside the train station for just £2.50 for a return!

Ever been? What did you think?

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Reasons Why I Loved Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Its the movie Potter fans have been waiting for; a prequel like no other.

Like any good Hufflepuff, I was pretty excited to see my house being represented well, and apparated down to the cinema on the day the film was released, and here are a few of the things that I thought made this movie properly magical – don’t worry, its spoiler free!

It wasn’t Harry Potter

While my excitement for this movie came from my love of the Harry Potter, this film felt nothing like a classic Potter.

There were no ‘for the sake of it’ references

You know how when you get sequels/prequels that are set in totally different times, one of the writers decides to put in a bunch of references to an original character that isn’t really necessary and you know they’re just trying and failing to be ‘relevant’? Nope, there was none of that and it was fab.

New vocabulary

Again, rather than just sticking to all the wizarding terms we’re grown to understand, there are a lot of new phrases and references that we’ve not heard before, which given how most language changes over time, is perfectly understandable given the date of this setting vs the Hogwarts years we know all to well

Eddie Redmayne

He just plays the part so well. A number of actors could have produced a number of different portrayals of Newt, but boy does Eddie hit the nail on the head!

Magical effects

With technology as it is these days, its easy for film makers to fall into the trap of overdoing their special effects, which results in unnecessary and unrealistic scenes, but while this film is packed with magical moments, at no point so any of these spells look out of place.

The beasts

Its quite easy to fall in love with adorable creatures in films, but when they’re also magical and full of personality, I defy anyone not to walk out of the cinema not wanting a niffler.

It gives you all the feels

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll gasp out loud.. You’ll love every second of it.

Have you seen it yet? Let me know what you thought!

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Five Things that Happened While I Read The Cursed Child

This post contains mild spoilers!

The Cursed Child

When The Cursed Child was announced, I had mixed feelings. I avoided spoilers (which is a real talent of mine) and thought long and hard about whether or not I’d want to read the book based on some of the thoughts and feelings I had seen on Twitter.

I heard complaints about the format of the book as a script, there was moaning about the fact that JK didn’t write it herself, and of course there are people absolutely refusing to read it until they’ve seen the play, and there was me in the middle of it all. If I’m being honest, I didn’t really feel all that into the idea.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Potter fan and always have been, but for some reason The Cursed Child didn’t fill me with any excitement, until I opened the cover..

1. I felt the joy of returning to Hogwarts

From the opening scene I felt like I’d been transported back to my childhood, where starting the next HP book gave me uncontrollable feelings of excitement.

2. I felt my heart break

As the years flash by and we watch Albus drift further and further away from his family and the situation spiralled into unhappiness, I honestly felt for the poor guy..

3. There was audible gasping

Plots twisting more than the Whomping Willow, shock revelations.. On more than one occasion there were verbal reactions.

4. Major anxiety 

There is nothing that stresses me out more than uncertainty of outcomes, and I was totally incapable of putting the book down until I knew everything was going to be ok.

5. Tears, just so many tears..

That ending. I was sobbing..

I read the whole book in two sittings: part one and part two. In fact, I’m almost certain that had I not needed to be up for work early the morning after I started it I probably would have stayed up all night to finish it in one go. The layout of the story didn’t bother me in the slightest; the fact that it was set up like a proper script didn’t make the reading of it any more difficult so I don’t really understand why some people had problems with it. I had no prior expectations of the storyline, so I could completely immerse myself, and the fact is, I thought it was brilliant.

Where do you stand on The Cursed Child?

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Day 7: A Not Entirely Disney Day

Today we went to Universal Studios, cue the booing and hissing of die hard Disney World fans..

But I like to think anyone who has the good taste to love Disney can appreciate the pure brilliance of Harry Potter, and enjoy the truly marvellous experience of the Harry Potter worlds that have been created there. We were incredibly lucky to get all of it done in one day, only possible as we got into the park as it opened so didn’t get stuck in a minimum hour wait for the castle, but we did have to queue for just over 2 hours for the new Gringotts Bank ride, mainly due to it breaking down several times during our wait!

The heat of the day got too much after we’d finished in the magical world, so we headed back to the hotel, via Walmart, so everyone could chill out by the pool for a bit.

Except me. I chose to use this down time to make a solo excursion for some intense exploring/research. I bused from our resort to Epcot, from the park itself cut across to the Boardwalk by the International Gateway, then once I was done scouting that out, hopped onto another bus to Downtown Disney, wandered there for a bit and caught another bus back to the resort: about a 2.5 hour round trip, and I’ll be sharing some of my findings in later posts 🙂