Category Archives: Theatre

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD – A REVIEW BY MALIKA GANDHI


harry-potter-and-the-cursed-childFirst things first, you will need to read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, to understand Harry Potter  And The Cursed Child. There are other references too, from Book 1 and Book 2, although in my opinion, it’s not necessary to read those books to understand this theatre play.

Saying that, the majority of persons living on this planet (and those aliens from other planets we have never seen or heard of – who could have downloaded The Cursed Child via their magnificent technology – may have read it too. Hey, it may be true!)

Anyway, I liked the script and yes, I read it in a day! That, to me, is amazing and quite impressive, since I haven’t finished reading a book in ages. What’s the story, I hear you ask.

Well, it’s about two boys called Albus and Scorpius; two friends who are put in the Slytherin house. Albus is Harry and Ginny’s son (they have three in total), and Scorpius is Draco Malfoy’s son. We also get to see the original cast – Harry, Ron, Hermione, with Draco and Ginny.

The story weaves in and out of timelines that is more complicated than the one in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Albus and Scorpius are in the middle of these adventures and accidently on purpose (you will know what I mean) change the present and the future, thus creating an alternative timeline. (It reminded me of Back to the Future…)

I can picture JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne going crazy writing this crazy stuff (I said crazy twice, didn’t I?) making sure nothing was missed out!

So, back to the review, I loved the fact that JK Rowling gave us glimpses of Snape, Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore, even if he was in a painting form. At times, I forgot I was reading a script for a theatre play, and thought I was reading a real book.

There are a lot of twists and turns in The Cursed Child, which was a delight to read. You are taken back into the magical world of Hogwarts! However, I will not reveal any spoilers, on no.

So, this was my review. I could go on forever, but then I would be revealing spoilers, and that is just wrong. So if you haven’t already read the play/book, do it now. You won’t be disappointed!

WATER BABIES – THE MUSICAL


Water Babies – World Premier at the Curve, Leicester

 

WATER BABIES by Curtis,I was invited to this spectacular show, a magical experience that is a must see! Full of lovable characters, Water Babies is a musical adventure that will delight you! Adapted from Charles Kingsley’s Water Babies for the theatre, it was a delight to review.

The show  is about a boy called Tom, who is framed for a crime he didn’t commit. He finds himself on the edge of a waterfall when trying to escape the law, and plunges into the water. This is where his adventure begins. He meets some great friends and has to make a harsh decision that changes his life. For the better, well, perhaps.

As an overview, the show proved to be a success, from set design and props, the casting, the music, and the amazing special effects. It was long but not one scene bored me or let my mind drift. Oh no, I followed the story with curiosity, wondering what will happen next, and sometimes I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat! There was an abundance of emotion and wit that was portrayed spectacularly by the performances that had me asking for more.

On a tuneful note, I have to say that the vocal cords of the cast blew me away. Every song delivered the story on form, and I applaud the music director for his wonderful work.  Of course, with song comes dance, and the choreography of the dance matched the rhythm of the music in absolute synchronisation.

Let’s get to the characters. My favourite from the leading cast are all of them – Tom, who is played by Thomas Milner, and Ellie, who is played by Lauren Samuels. I also love Mrs D who is a fairy, and who leads Tom along his journey;  this fabulous creation was played by Louise Dearman.

From the supporting cast, no one can forget the hilarious trio of the sea creatures, played by Tom Davey as Claude – WATER BABIES by Curtis,the swordfish, Samuel Homes as Terence – the sea-horse, and Andy Gray as Jock – the Lobster. Each one brought something special to the show. Their wit and humour was just brilliant!

WATER BABIES by Curtis,Thomas’s character may not have been flamboyant as his sea friends, but he was equally charming with his innocence and his need to do good. We see his character in a shattered state while trying to find a way out of the sea to get back to his loved one – Ellie.

Lauren Samuels (Ellie) plays a lovable teenage girl, who falls in love with Tom. Her story is that she is waiting for Tom to come back to her, and she waits at the edge of the waterfall. We fall in love with her straight away and want her to be rejoined with her loved one. Lauren’s performance is sweet and charming. Both Lauren and Tom’s performances draw a powerful pull that we, the audience, cannot ignore and we feel it! They both bring greatness to the show and both do justice to their characters.

As I said earlier, one of my other favourites was Mrs D, the fairy. Louise Dearman takes her character to new heights and I felt a svelte feel of her performance that was polished to a high shine.

Of course, there is always a villain. In this story, it was Eel, a nasty piece of work played by Tom Lister. I cannot say a negative word about his work as it was fabulous. He portrayed Eel as vile and unforgiving as he was supposed to be, and I engaged with his character from the time he graced the platform until the end.

On a final note, I applaud the casting couch on finding such great talent, from the lead to the supporting cast. Everyone did a great job that brought the show full circle.