A Week in London: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

The whole reason for this London trip was to see Harry Potter & The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in the West End. A year ago, I was in the midst of re-reading the Harry Potter series again, and so I was the perfect audience for the franchise's announcement that there was an eighth story being adapted into a play. After a very early morning spent getting tickets, a Potterhead Pilgrimage trip was officially born.

Almost a year to that day, Jacob and I Uber across town to take in Harry Potter & The Cursed Child's two-part performance in one marathon day. Each performance is roughly two hours with an intermission - so you could break up the parts if you wanted to. That day, there was about two and a half hours in between parts for us to grab dinner and wander down to Carnaby Street and Liberty for some window shopping. We chose Cay Tre for dinner, and I have to say that it's probably the swankiest crowd I've ever seen at a Vietnamese restaurant! I like to think I blended in; though my other playgoers were mostly in jeans and casual dress, I wore a Keepsake dress and a vintage leather jacket that was custom adorned with a glow-in-the-dark Deathly Hallows emblem by Seattle artist Mariel Andrade. I'd had the outfit in mind for months - it made me feel like a dropout from the fancy French wizarding school Beauxbatons!

I wish I could talk at length about the play itself, but like a good witch I always do everything J.K. Rowling says, and she explicitly asks all playgoers to #KeepTheSecrets. If you've read the book/script, the play is very true to it, and the special effects were breathtaking. The actors and set design more than pay homage to the spirit of the series, but The Cursed Child is very much its own. Scorpius Malfoy and Ron Weasley really made the play - I couldn't stop laughing whenever they were on stage!

I had no idea the Palace Theatre was so legendary. This was where audiences saw Anna Pavlova and Fred Astaire perform, and were treated to shows like The Sound of Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, and Les Miserables. Being able to watch British actors do their thing on one of the most iconic stages in British theatre (and the world) was a treat unto itself! Fun fact: the Palace Theatre is also purportedly haunted!

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child is a must-see for any Potterhead and art lover alike. You don't necessarily need to know much about the series to see the play and the program (well worth the £5) does a great job filling you in on the important details. My curiosity in seeing more theatre has been peaked too. All I saw in the London Underground were ads for all of the other plays, which is a culture we just don't have on that level here in Seattle. I can't wait to check out more plays, here at home and abroad!

Read more from our Week in London here.