NYCC 2018: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Panel Recap

The first panel of NYCC2018 is set to kick off in A106. It is PACKED; standing room only.

The hype guy is asking the crowd who has been waiting the longest and we had folks outside last night at 8pm, just to make sure they could get in first and get to this room.

Expected to get information on both Part 1 and Part 2 of this play during the 11:00am ET opener.

Panel is heading into five minutes late… most of the fans are still being patient, while some are starting to rumble to get it going.

Introducing the folks on the panel: Laura Heyward (hosting), Jaime Parker (Harry), Noma Deumzweni (Hermione), Paul Thornley (Ron), Poppy Miller (Ginny), Sam Clemmett (Albus), Anthony Boyle (Scorpius), Alex Price (Draco)

Q: First exposure to Harry Potter?

Alex: Me and Jon at the theatre, he said that I am going to do a workshop of a play… and then he said, its Harry Potter, and I said, Are you mad. Then I said I am in. But that as my first experience with Harry Potter.

Anthony: When I was younger my father read the books to me and my brother. And I remember vividly during Azkaban I would hide under the covers.

Sam: Read the books growing up and was a huge fan. Only read the once through, but saw the movies. Came to try out for this play in 2015 and didn’t really know anything about it… but four or five auditions later, I got the part.

Poppy: Me and Harry Potter… I was an adult that went to the books, unlike many of you who were kids… I was pretty broken hearted and so I spent my New Zealand dollars on the hard back version of the book and just set on an island and read it.

Paul: I came to Harry Potter traveling on the Tube, and everyone else was reading it during the ride, so I wanted to read the books because I didn’t want to miss out. I don’t have the depth of knowledge that the rest of they do, but I got asked to read for this play, and they asked me to read for Ron and I said… but I am really old… and then they told me that this was 19 years after the last book – I know that – and so I did and now I am really glad to be here.

Noma: I had the FOMO on the Tube, too. I kept seeing it everywhere… Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter… so I said eFF it, Ima read that book. I then fell in love with them and read them all, and saw the movies. Then we did workshopped it and I am very honored to have been offered to play Herione.

Jaime: I played with some of the original cast in 2013 in what may have been the worst play I have ever been in, and so… I was not part of the workshops and didn’t read the books. But I did go to boarding school in the mid-90s and so that is there. But when John was looking around for a cast they got me in. I am now addicted. I have read through the books seven times now.

Q: Jamie, we pick up with Harry 19 years later…. What is different about him as an adult.

Jaime: He is 40 and he is trying to be a dad with a kid going through similar rites of passage. The big question for me, is did he ever get past his own childhood. He is still running to save, all of the fallen 50, and that has never left him. I remember finishing the books and getting to that last line, “All is well’ and I was very suspicious of it. The loop isn’t complete until the last lines of this play. Otherwise you don’t have the closure.

Q: Existance of Albus, without the scar, we are introduced to may be similar to his father, and may not be.

Sam: He spent the summer at home with his family and being picked on about potentially going to Slitehrin. Now we are on 9 ¾ and there is no idea what he was getting himself to. He is on Hogwarts Express and Rose his looks to show off with her famous family member.

SHOWING A CLIP OF THE PRODUCTION:

Sam: This is comes into 20 minutes. Albus has been off to Hogwartz and his relationship is deteriorating with his father and growing with a Malfoy… so that is a no-no… but this goes horribly wrong for Albus.

Clip: In Hogwartz, dancing and playing with wands… banners of the four houses and members of the cast… Albus wand get stuck in the ground… other wands start to light at the top… Albus pulls his out and they meet in the middle of the room with them all held high… more dancing and wand play… Albus pops off a purple flare and they laugh and ridicule his off the stage with a “poor little Potter” comment.

Q: The expressions and control of your muscles to make it look like this is happening TO YOU.

Sam: Yes, it is in a count of nine so it messes up a little in your head… it really feels organic, but the wand is intedned to lead us. The great part of the rehearsal process was they made it a place to explore and mess up. It never felt like we were working but that just kept workshopped it. Finding the movements and exploration was one my favorite parts of the process.

Q: You were part of the original London production, so like three or four years for some of you, are there any differences with the show between the NYC and London audiences?

Alex: You are REALLY loud here. And we appreciate it. I spose the other difference is that on a personal level, in this city with my wife, experiencing on Monday Tuesday trips has been amazing.

Anthony: I thought I was going to get fired every day in London. So it has made me more confident by being here. So I come into the room a little better at finding the character this time around.

Poppy: There was something conditional about this. This is a huge, worldwide fanbase… we had to make sure you were going to like what we did and not just take for granted that you would. We didn’t really know how it would go critically, and we don’t take it for granted with you, and we don’t get complacent, and we tell it fresh for you.

Noma: We all felt very nervous those first shows. We enjoyed working together but we didn’t know if this would be a success. We didn’t know if people would have us. Now there is an ease and a comfort that doesn’t happen very often.

Q: Have you learned anything specific from Ron?

Paul: I mean, it isn’t a huge leap… I mean… not really?

Q: Poppy, Ginny is a lot of growth…

Poppy: This play is about a family, and our family, is in crisis. A middle age crisis, well Harry is, no point denying it. I have to flatter Jaime now… we work in the very beginning a marriage a part of the story that we can check in. Not all of that is directly on the page, but we put it in there. It is idealized people in the books, and we can look back at those teenage years. Now they are learning that life is harder than a battle. That the ideas that “I love you, but do I want to be in the same room as you anymore” is a real grown up thing. Ginny is standing on your own two feet. She is a working woman and parent and so that is real life and I hope people can relate to that.

Q: We heard what it is like to bring the character to life… but some of them are being created?

Antony: I thought it was weird. Because how do you grow up as Draco Malfoy, I am either Son of Judas, and having the bleached blonde white hair, and then losing a mother very on and there is a lot of pain he carries with him. A lot of the humor comes from the pain. I think that is his awkwardness and make things funny is a coping mechanism.

EXCLUSIVE: The music is incredible, and here is a video for out next segment. Composer is introducing that the soundtrack of the play is coming out on November 2nd. Here is the ministry as we have never heard it before:

CLIP playing over the loudspeaker…

Jaime starts singing –


Q: If you PollyJuice into anyone, who would it be?

Silence.

Q: If you were a Hogwarts professor what would you teach?

Poppy: Flying class. Like on brooms.

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Jaime: Is there something less passe than Magic Against the Dark Arts? I think Harry would want to honor the presence in that classroom.

Paul: Potions, or chemistry, or yes…