Thursday, 28 July 2016

CURSED CHILD COUNTDOWN: MY EXPERIENCE + TIPS


Hi everyone,

So, there are now only 2 DAYS until the opening night of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and 3 DAYS until the script book is released! I saw both parts of the play last Saturday, and today I just wanted to talk about my experience and give some tips for people who are going to watch the show in the next few months.

THIS POST WILL NOT DISCUSS THE PLOT OF THE SHOW IN ANY WAY. DON'T WORRY ABOUT SPOILERS!

I spent three days total in London, one of which was entirely dedicated to watching the show. This meant I got to do a little bit of sightseeing and shopping on the other days, and I got to sleep more than I would if I was trying to travel, watch the show and get home as quickly as possible. Tip 1: If you can, spend a few more days in London than you necessarily need to. Watching the play really does take all day, and London is such a great city that you really need the time to look around.

On the day of the show I walked into the centre of London (which killed my feet. Tip 2: Wear comfortable shoes) and found the Palace theatre by about midday. Part One didn't start until 2 in the afternoon, so I had a little bit of time to go book shopping and hot chocolate drinking in Foyles. Tip 3: Foyles is the best, and it's a two minute walk from the theatre. Check it out.
I'd been told a million times that I needed to be outside the Palace Theatre an hour before the show started, and I honestly think that's good advice. By the time I got to the theatre at 1pm there was already a huge queue waiting for the doors to open, but there were only a few minutes before we got to go inside. I'm really glad I had that hour to find my seat (the theatre is huge and I actually got lost a few times) and chill out a bit before the show started. So, Tip 4: Get to the theatre early. They do check your bags on the way in, and it's good to have time to appreciate the theatre itself before the show starts!

Once inside, I purchased my program (they're £5 and cover both parts of the show, and I definitely recommend buying one and went and sat down for a while before I embarked on the epic quest to buy merchandise. This leads me to Tip 5: Buy merchandise later, not when everyone's trying to enter the theatre. At this time it was a lot less hectic and the merchandise queue was much shorter than it had been when we first went in, which made the whole experience a lot less stressful. I have to commend the Palace Theatre staff for being so organised and patient with the merchandise stand, and for just being lovely overall. Also, they were all wearing Hogwarts ties which made me irrationally happy. I purchased a Ravenclaw tie for £12, which you can see below, although I wanted more. Tip 6: Take money. The merchandise is adorable and you will want it all.

Then I watched Part One, which I won't discuss here but did talk all about in my SPOILER-FREE REVIEW. During the interval (about an hour and a half into Part One) everyone started to play Pokémon, which was pretty funny to see. Tip 7: The Palace Theatre is a Pokestop, and there are a lot of Pokémon around. Just PLEASE turn your phone off when the show is on. I was actually very lucky to be in an audience full of people who had some respect and didn't talk or text throughout the whole show, which definitely made the experience a lot better than other West End show I've been to. Be aware of your theatre etiquette, people! I was also lucky to be in an audience full of people who were clearly Harry Potter fans, and there was a lot of gasping at appropriate times in the show. This might be annoying for some people, but I loved the sense of community in the theatre.

After Part One I was feeling slightly traumatised and extremely emotional (#keepthesecrets!), but I managed to find a Chinese restaurant to eat dinner at. I can't remember where it was now, but the theatre is right next to China Town so there are a lot of Chinese restaurants nearby. Tip 8: If you're seeing both parts on the same day, eat between the shows. You probably won't leave the theatre until after 10pm, so this is really your only time to get food. I'd make eating the first priority, too, since if you want to be at the theatre when the doors open you'll only have about an hour.

I was outside the theatre for Part 2 an hour early again, although since I didn't buy any merchandise this time I probably could have waited until a bit later. Once I'd got settled in my seat (more on that in a second) I didn't really do anything else but watch the show until it was over. Tip 9: Take a moment to look at the exterior of the theatre when you leave. It's so pretty in the dark! After doing this, and taking a bunch of photos, I got the tube home and was back at the hotel for half 10. Then I spent hours thinking about the show and reading blog posts about scrolling through tumblr, because it was crazy and I needed to hear what people were saying about it. Tip 10: Don't plan on sleeping that night.

That was really the end of my experience, though I have a few more tips about the theatre itself. Tip 11: Dress for summer, the Palace Theatre is really hot inside for some reason. I was sweating by the end of Part Two, and I've heard from a few other people that it's always like that. Don't ask me why. Also, Tip 12: The balcony seats really aren't that bad. The tickets I got were the cheapest and I was told by the website that the view would be severely restricted. I definitely didn't have a perfect view, but I never felt like I was missing out on the show or that my seat damaged my experience at all. Don't be scared of those cheap tickets, especially if you can't afford the others.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show if you're lucky enough to have tickets...
-MIA

1 comment:

  1. I got my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book today.
    I ordered it off Amazon and I got it in just 2 days!
    Here's the link:
    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2

    ReplyDelete