Thursday 11th Jan 2018
When two wizarding worlds collide: we caught up with the Cursed Child London cast as they went on a day out to take in some magical history at the British Library’s exhibition.
The current London company of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child enjoyed a magical education this week, visiting the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at the British Library. As the two-part West End play continues to delight and bewitch fans, we caught up with the hard-working actors as they explored a different side to the wizarding world.
Rakie Ayola, who plays the grown-up Hermione Granger in the play, was keen to embrace her inner Hogwarts prefect at the exhibition (‘I was interested to see the existing magic and the connections’) and admitted that seeing all of the many Harry Potter elements on display put things even more into perspective for her, now being part of the Wizarding World’s ever-growing family herself.
‘When I first entered this production, it was overwhelming,’ she said. ‘The production itself, seeing this exhibition framed around magic and Harry Potter, the wizarding world… you sort of find your place in it. And once you’re in, you can’t see how big it is, and then when you step outside, you remember it’s enormous.’
Samuel Blenkin and Theo Ancient, who currently play Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter respectively, were big Harry Potter fans prior to joining the production, and told us that seeing the exhibition reminded them of their relationship with Harry Potter before joining the play.
‘I grew up with the books and I remember my mum bringing the first book home from the library,’ Theo told us. ‘The exhibition felt like being in Hogwarts, walking the corridors. It’s made me want to go back to the books again.’
Samuel agreed. ‘I was fascinated seeing all of the original documents and scribbles and notes on display,’ he said. ‘I really like seeing the way a story or narrative comes together. It puts into perspective of how much of a privilege it is to be part of [Harry Potter]. It’s giving another layer to a world already so rich and beloved.’
‘I think [Harry Potter] means even more to me now,’ said Helen Aluko, who plays Rose Granger-Weasley in the current West End cast. ‘I have another family now because of it, and a new love of getting to know Harry Potter all over again.’
‘It gets me every time when I reach someone at the stage door and they burst into tears,’ Rakie added. ‘I love the human connection and people’s relationship with Hermione.’
‘I feel so privileged to do the show – and be at Hogwarts!’ Theo laughed. ‘Playing Albus came at a stage of my career where I was just starting out, so it has all the more meaning for me because of that.’
For Samuel, who plays a character obsessed with books and wizarding knowledge, being surrounded by the history of magic – from creatures to the origins of potion-making – made him muse upon Cursed Child’s relationship with magic itself.
‘It’s one of the best things about the show – because there is magic in the show – and it has that essence of someone doing a card trick in the street,’ he explained. ‘We’re not holding any cards behind our back. It’s a show about relationships, about going beyond magic and trickery, and suspending the audience’s disbelief.’
‘I’ve gone into the magic and existed inside it,’ Samuel added. ‘And I desperately love doing the show and sharing that story.’
For more information including how to get tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, visit the official website.