My first thought when the play was released was ‘how can this work?!’
I did a lot of research. A lot.
I just could not get my head around a two part play. I argued with myself. ‘Well Shakespeare did it’ ‘HOW DOES IT WORK WHEN SHAKESPEARE DOES IT?!’
It made me reconsider a lot of things in my life. I thought, how does it work about people buying tickets? So you have to buy two? Do you HAVE to see both parts?
One of the begrudging thoughts I have with this is that going to the theatre (for me) is a treat and an expense. I don’t often go, but I do know that I am lucky that I can go as often as I do, which is a couple of times a year. To me this felt like a cheap, money making move. I have just looked at the website and I mean it kind of is and isn’t. Tickets start at £15 per part (so you pay £30 for both parts) Which I suppose isn’t tooooo bad for two shows. Also there is a schedule. Days with two shows, matinee is part one and evening is part two. Thursday/ Friday is part one and two respectively. When you book your tickets it automatically gives you the same seat for both shows.
So I suppose, not as complicated as I may have made it out to be in my mind. I haven’t gone. I don’t know if I ever will.
I did however read the script.
As it is a script it’s not what a lot of people wanted. Stage directions are not the same as a full blown description and speech is not Harry’s inner monologue. As I have studied a fair few plays in my time for my degree, it didn’t bother me too much. Also I went in skeptical. I am a huge Harry Potter freak and when I saw the script was out I read it more out of interest rather than desperately wanting to read it. It was more to see what they had done.
Disappointment isn’t the right word to describe how I feel about it. Maybe just more indifference. It was ok. The story is a bit all over the place, the first act being heavily the act of setting up the mundanity of ‘normal’ life and the angst of teenage life. Difficult relationships, work, father/ son relationships, friendships all have to be set up before we can even get to the meat of the story. Hence the second half which is actually ok. An interesting look at how changing certain events in the Triwizard Tournament and how that affects the rest of the plot of the original stories.
The one thing I do like is that I think they have managed to claw back the essence of Ron. I enjoy the films but I hate what they did to Ron. They made him stupid and selfish, which in reality he wasn’t. In the books he is intelligent, loyal, brave and funny. He is hilarious, probably the result of being the youngest brother in such a huge family. The play will remind audiences and readers of that fact.
I imagine it is a real spectacle and if anyone has seen the play I would be interested to hear how it was. Maybe it is why I feel quite indifferent about it. Plays on page rather than the stage are quite hard to relate to, which is why when I tutored Shakespeare, I would encourage students to find a good film version as well. It brings the text to life and makes it much more exciting.
So as ‘The eighth story nineteen years later’ I’m sure on stage when you are distracted by the set and the acting and the special effects, I’m sure its enjoyable and entertaining. However, Voldermorts daughter is a bit of a stretch for me I’m afraid.