They Released Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Cast Photos And I Had Some Thoughts- Part One: The Potters
*HELLO ONE AND ALL! I realise it has been an awful long time but I am back! This is more just a quick note to say hello again after what has been nearly a year (appalling I know) and that I hope to be writing an awful lot more again now.
With regards to this new piece, I would like to point out that given that these shots were taken with the actors in character I’ll refer to them for the most part as Harry, Ginny and Albus. I do realise they are fictional characters…*
On Tuesday morning I logged on to Instagram, only to be somewhat unexpectedly confronted with SEVERAL photos of the Potter family (or Jamie Parker, Poppy Miller and Sam Clemmett as they are known in the real world) which, for one of the biggest Harry Potter nerds to walk this green earth, was understandably a very exciting start to the day. I have now spent the last two days ruminating over (by which I mean obsessively picking apart) these pictures and I present you with my thoughts. Of which there are many.
I’ll start with the man whose name’s in the title, Mr Harry Potter, played by Jamie Parker. I have long been an admirer of Jamie’s work and I was thrilled when they announced that he would be playing Harry. But I’ll admit that, whilst guessing who might land the central role, he never really crossed my mind. I wasn’t exactly sure how he would look as Harry. It turns out SPOT ON.
First things first, I want to talk about that all-important scar. That bolt of lightning carved into his head is one of Harry Potter’s key features and, though I hate to draw comparisons because they are very different beasts, the scar sported by Daniel Radcliffe in the films was always somewhat reminiscent of a small child who had taken a red lipstick to their head. Not so here. That scar looks properly deep, like it would have really hurt which is exactly what you want from a mark left by the most evil wizard of his time. So far, so excellent.
Remaining in the general forehead area, HAIR. That hair was one of the first things I noticed and is so faithful to the books that I wanted to cry. It is just sticking up wherever it likes, just as J K Rowling described it! It also looks like they’ve dyed it to Potter Black which is WONDERFUL. I know hair may seem trivial but it’s something that will make the characterisation of these iconic characters all the better. It’s no longer just Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, through all of these little details, he becomes Harry.
Next up, that suit. I was most impressed with this suit, it is a gorgeous piece of tailoring. I am especially enamoured of the very trendy knitted tie. The thing I love most about this suit is that it totally fits with Harry’s chosen profession. He’s the head honcho over at the Ministry, why wouldn’t he want to indulge in a little Savile Row tailoring? However behind all those sharp threads there is proof that the Harry Potter of yore has not quite grown up because he CAN’T EVEN BE ARSED TO DO HIS TIE UP. HE IS LIKE A TEENAGE BOY and it is so heartwarming to see because it indicates that behind the rather serious demeanour of this photo, sarcastic, sometimes rather childish old Harry might not be gone.
One final hint of the Potter rebellious streak, which I am sure we will be seeing rather a lot of during the two parts of this play, is the fact that (and I am compelled to use all capitals again) HE IS STANDING THERE WITH HIS WAND STICKING OUT OF HIS POCKET. What WOULD Mad Eye Moody say about the matter?! Constant vigilance, probably… Anyway, the wand proves that Harry’s compulsion to not listen to people who know better than him is still at large in his later years and I’m so fascinated to see how it might play out throughout the show.
So that’s my analysis of Harry. Now, to move on to Mrs Potter, the Quidditch player formerly known as Ginny Weasley.
I hate to say it but I am altogether less pleased with this whole look than I was with Harry’s. Ginny Weasley seems to get a bad wrap in her on screen/on stage representation, especially in that awful final scene in the film where she looked like she had just purchased the entirety of Per Una. Oh Ginny, I thought, please let them be kinder to you in the play. Well, Ginny, I am sad to say they have not been. Let’s start with the hair, which I will say is fabulous. It’s modern and cool and therefore depressingly in contrast with the ENTIRE rest of her look. Now, costume designers of Cursed Child, do you expect me to believe that Ginny Potter née Weasley, former champion Quidditch player, now top sports journalist and all round generally accepted cool girl would grow up to wear a suede skirt and HORRENDOUS buckle Mum shoes? Well do you? Because I do not for one second imagine that this woman would have grown up to be exactly like her mother. I am going to start a campaign to get Ginny some skinny jeans and better shoes.
Moving on from the hideous jumper (Weasley jumpers were a cute and lovely family novelty gift, they were not something to take into real life), I will say I am really pleased with the way Poppy Miller has characterised Mrs Potter. That pose is incredibly cute whilst at the same time saying that she means business. I am getting the impression that this Ginny isn’t going to stand awkwardly around whilst Harry does up her dress (arguably the cringiest moment in Potter history), she is a woman of action and (fingers crossed) seems like she might be sassy to boot.
Poor Albus. If that kid were to have a theme song, it would probably be ‘Under Pressure.’ Not only has he got to follow in the footsteps of (in no particular order) his father’s godson, several of his cousins and his big brother, he also carries the names of two of the most famous wizards of all time. (I refuse to acknowledge his middle name. It still makes me angry.) So you would expect him to look a little nervous on his first day at Hogwarts. Which Sam Clemmett, who plays Albus has absolutely nailed, especially in the way he’s awkwardly grabbing at his robes. Although his costume gives us little to go on (we can’t even tell what house he is in yet. Which is probably half the cause of the anxious robe grabbing), Clemett has given us everything we need to know in his posture, the way he’s standing.
And he’s so cute. I know nothing about this character beyond this photo and I’m rooting for him. I don’t want this kid to be cursed. Look at his wee face, he looks so innocent. (AND looks an awful lot like Jamie Parker and Poppy Miller, which is a genius bit of casting) What they’ve done with this photo is set us up with a lead character that we don’t know who we instantly want to sympathise with. Which is pretty bloody clever if you ask me.
I love this shot, it is both adorable and revealing. Look at Mumma Ginny and how protective she is of her boy, it’s so sweet. (and we get a better look at that FIERCE hair do) I do find it fascinating that Harry is so separated from Albus. Having read the epilogue I don’t think this is any indicator of father and son discord but it may show something about Harry’s parenting skills. No one was kind to Harry as a child, perhaps some of that has rubbed off into a bit of hands off parenting. Although I very much hope not.
Notably absent from this family shot are James Potter II and Lily Potter II but all I reckon all that shows is that they aren’t going to be quite so major characters as Albus will inevitably be. It’s definitely not a show of parental favouritism.
So that’s my thoughts on the Potters. Next up we have the Granger-Weasleys. I can’t wait.