In today’s Minute I will be discussing Part 1, Act 1, Scenes 1&2 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Really quick before moving on, I may not be discussing each scene of this play individually, as the shortest of them can be about half a page long. What I’ll be doing is grouping them together where it feels natural to stop and discuss. For this first minute I decided to group scenes one and two together because it lined up with the epilogue from Deathly Hallows, and I thought it was a great spot to stop and collect my thoughts.
My first thought is, why open with the epilogue of Deathly Hallows at all, especially if you’re changing it? Right off the bat, on my first read, I had my feathers ruffled when Tiffany and Thorne basically changed canon. Lines being cut, characters being cut (uhm, Where is Hugo!???!!???), lines being swapped between characters, lines being added…there are more things that are different than are the same.
Honestly, I can deal with all of the changes except the missing Hugo. The other changes are understandable. Lines needed to be swapped so everyone had equal lines to perform, lines were changed so the tone of these opening scenes matched with the rest of the play. But, why o why did they just cut out Hugo?? At first I thought they cut him completely out of the play, but Harry does mention him a couple of scenes further on. The only reason I can think of why they decided to not include Ron and Hermione’s son in this play is because of a thing I like to call ‘real world implications’. I probably will use this phrase several times in the coming Minutes, and what I mean by it is this…because this a production, an acting out of a story on stage, instead of it being an actual book, there will be some restrictions. I imagine these restrictions to be things such as time (as I understand it the entirety of the play is 5 hours long, some things need to be cut in order for it to not be 10 hours long), budget (even though there was probably a lot of money spent on the production of this play, and the subsequent companies that went to NY and Australia and etc, I imagine that ‘unlimited’ as a budget is unreal for any one), and human error (no two theater performances are the same, that’s part of the charm of watching live theater…but in this case that might mean that one person comes away with a different interpretation of the canon of a scene than another person does depending on how the actor delivered their lines that day). I think that the real world implication that stopped Hugo from being a present character in this story in any facet was perhaps the budget. Maybe they just couldn’t justify spending a little bit more money to pay an actor to have a more prominent principal role. I’m not sure I’ve convinced myself that this is the reason for Hugo’s absence, because they have people in roles such as the Trolley Witch, Madam Hooch, Polly Chapman, Craig Bowker Jr, etc…but they couldn’t have Hugo?? But, yeah, I can’t think of any other good reason to leave out Hugo. Do you have an idea why Hugo wasn’t included? Let me know in the comments on the bottom of the podcast page found on Lexicon.
Instead of just complaining about it though, this is my thought on how they could have started off with the epilogue still, since it is a familiar scene and does showcase our fave golden trio so well…My compromise for this being a great start for the play is this: There are overtures for musicals, and I know this isn’t technically a musical, but as an overture, have a recording of Rowling reading the epilogue from Deathly Hallows play over the speakers, and then raise the curtain on essentially scene three, when Rose and Albus are already on the train. The first line in scene three is from the Trolley Witch, that is still a sufficient enough of a connection to the books to make it a great start to the play, in my opinion.
And now for the positive part of this minute. At first I didn’t think I could find anything positive to say about this section. But, I didn’t want to mess up my goal on the first Minute, so I stopped to really think about it and I found something. I really like the interaction that Ron and Lily have in Scene 2. I believe Aunt and Uncle relationships with their nieces and nephews can be something really special, and the excitement Lily shows to see her Uncle Ron now gives me warm fuzzy feelings whenever I think about it, and it helps that it also reminds me of when I get to see my 5 nieces. This relationship stands out especially when you think of the amount of family members each of them have, Ron has 10 other nieces and nephews, and Lily has 4 other uncles. It probably helps that Uncle Ron is best mates with her dad, and so Lily may see more of this particular uncle and that helped them form this bond. We don’t get to see her interact with any of her other uncles, and while she may have great relationships with each of them, I’m going to create my first headcanon derived from Cursed Child content: that this relationship between Lily and Ron really is something special and one that they each cherish the most.
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Music: "Winter Chimes" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License