REVIEW: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child 5/5

I engaged in a lot of speculation in the days leading up to attending Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I purposely didn’t read the play (also because I’m still halfway through the third Harry Potter book) or any reviews before I saw the show. We both wanted to be completely immersed in the experience. So, for the months leading up to D-Day (the play was booked A YEAR PRIOR!), I was filled with questions: “Do you think there will be moving paintings?” “Will there be ghosts?” “What about Hagrid? Will he be in it?” My concern was for the details, the stuff that without them, the story will not feel as—dare I say it—magical.

Y’all, the details are present and then some. Since I am bound by #keepthesecrets button confidentiality (everyone was handed this on a button as we left the performance of Par One), I shall not reveal the whats and hows. Instead I will do the most “non-review” review possible and share my four main observations of the play.

The casting was spot-on

I lowkey cried four times during the play. The first was when we initially see Harry, Ron and Hermione together. The actor portraying Ron Weasley was phenomenal—funny, touching and so clearly captures Ron’s loyalty. I found myself enchanted by his interpretation of Weasley life.

Grown-up Harry Potter is a man whose emotions are still as much on the surface as they were when he was a boy, reinforcing that he will always be tortured by his past. The difficulties of growing up were present throughout the story, specifically the idea that being an adult doesn’t mean we are grown.

This was something that was lamented by the portrayal of Draco Malfoy focused on a man who not only had to live with the sins of his family, but who continues to struggle with his father’s doctrine. You could see the actor wrestling with Draco’s Death Eater-based socialization, particularly when it comes to raising his son while still having to interact with the rest of the wizarding world.

Lastly, Hermione Granger, was hands down my favorite. The actress had to balance many incarnations of Hermione: her bravery, brains and calm approach to the chaos of the wizard world. Hermione was played as the badass we all know her to be and did everything in heels for most of the play. Plus, there were many nods to the feminist household Ron and Hermione live in, from the hyphenated last name of their children to hints that Ron is part joke-shop-owner and part stay-at-home-parent.

The trio’s kids are going to be okay

The actress who plays Rose Granger-Weasley was both wonderful and tragic. Her performance was stunning, and Rose was presented as the perfect blend of her parents. Her energy level was through the roof and every time she was on stage you couldn’t take your eyes off her. The tragic part was that she was not given more to do; her character is sparse after the first half of the show, and clearly could have handled more.

One of the recurring themes of the show (and the HP canon in general) was the troubles of being an outcast. Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are those people. If Rose fits in and excels at everything (like mother like daughter, basically), Albus and Scorpius fail. The portrayal of Albus, however, was what the play promised, a teenage boy whose famous father’s image is so daunting that he must either rebel against or surpass it. The presentation of Scorpius is not at all what one would expect from a Malfoy. He is goofy, book-smart, nerdy, awkward and totally weird (basically a blend of the iconic trio, in my opinion). Like many folks in the theater, I could relate.

How does one overcome stigma?

This theme was clearly one of the cruxes of the play and manifested in Draco. The portrayal of Draco, a man who has had almost every adult figure in his life fail him (and struggles with his place in the wizard world) blew me away. Draco was given a lot more layers in this story, as a parent, a husband and a man trying to exist in a society that does not trust him.

In the books, Draco always felt like a shadow figure, and in the films, I thought he was played up more as a boy whose jealousy and privilege where poisoning him. It was nice to see him as more than this. Layers manifested in the ways Draco was portrayed as a complicated man, someone who wants to help his son become more than a product of Death Eaters.

Boys can cry

All of the characters, and the actors portraying them, presented themselves as multi-dimensional people. Rose was not only smart, but she also a jock. Ginny writes for the sports section of The Daily Prophet and is a loving mother in an egalitarian household. (Harry does the cooking just fyi). Hermione runs the Ministry, Ron works part-time, and their children hold both their last names.

But what was most telling was the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. Both boys are allowed to share their deepest feelings with each other, without ridicule or judgement. They express their fears, hug a lot and demonstrate that boys can cry. We also see this with Harry and Albus. Harry allows his son to see him crying and devastated. Even Draco gets a few moments where we realize how close to the surface his emotions run, yet Draco is more aware of the restrictions masculinity places on expressing feelings.

Conclusion

In short, The Cursed Child lived up to my expectations and beyond. Please accept my apologies for the lack of details in this non-review review, but I do fear the wrath of Professor McGonagall if any secrets are revealed.

#KeeptheSecrets

#ClaireNotes… London Edition! – July 2017

London baby!

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My most anticipated holiday to date has to be this one. It had been planned and booked for over a year! One week in London, jam-packed with fantastic events and banter (knowing me) with my bestfriend of 12 years.

The downside? Being at the airport at 4 in the morning. Yeah, I am not a morning person. But there were some upsides!: seven days with my bestfriend in the whole world. And shopping. And musicals. And souvenirs!

BFF’s Birthday in London

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Why the Cursed Child poster, you may be wondering…? Well, because we booked to see both parts of the play on her birthday!

I cannot share any details on the play itself (#keepthesecrets), but let’s just say it was beautiful and the transitions from one scene to another were out of this world and… dare I say… MAGICAL!

Brighton

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The day before Cursed Child we went to Brighton. We attended an event called Pop Up Pug Café which you can assume what it was all about.

After the Café we caught the bus to the Royal Pavilion…

Me

… and then headed to the amazing Brighton Pier, which was a lifelong dream of mine to visit.

You can tell the weather wasn’t in our favour, but we still had the greatest time!


Would you like a post on my week in London? Let me know in the comments’ section below!

#MyTwistedMind Two – Hercules

#MyTwistedMind is a series in which I feature an alternative ending to classic and/or popular stories/movies/books. These are very short posts as you may notice while reading them, and I shall be taking requests to any stories you want me to change.


Hercules unfortunately lost all his godly abilities. Meg died after being crushed by a column, which left him heartbroken. Hades, being more powerful than ever, made Hercules and the other gods his slaves. Phil was forced to train Hades’ friends to become stronger. Eventually, the world turned from a happy, beautiful place to one full of hate and sadness.


 

#MyTwistedHead One – Pinocchio

#MyTwistedMind is a series in which I feature an alternative ending to classic and/or popular stories/movies/books. These are very short posts as you may notice while reading them, and I shall be taking requests to any stories you want me to change.


Geppetto was swallowed whole by the whale. Pinocchio never knew what happened to his father. He lived a lonely life, blaming himself for Geppetto’s demise. The fox and the cat found the very sad Pinocchio dying of hunger just outside of the circus, and they burned him to cook donkeys for dinner.


 

50 Questions Tag

1. What’s your favorite candle scent?

 Anything that has jasmines smells soooo damn good to me.

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister?

 Jennifer Lawrence, because who else?

3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother?

Probably John Lennon. He’s cool.

4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?

I don’t have a particular age in mind, nor do I want to get married to my boyfriend – I prefer a long relationship than marriage – but maybe sometime before we hit 30 years old.

5. Do you know a hoarder?

Before I spring-cleaned my room a few months ago, no. After that, yes: myself. I had all sorts of things dating over ten years. TEN. YEARS.

6. Can you do the splits?

Nope. Not now or before or ever.

7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike?

… I never did.

8. How many oceans have you swam in?

Just the Mediterranean Sea in three different countries: Malta, Gozo and Sicily.

9. How many countries have you been to?

Tunisia, Spain, France, Sicily, Italy, England, Budapest, Austria… so that’s eight.

10. Is anyone in your family in the army?

Nope.

11. What would you name your daughter if you had one?

Anything Beatles-related – Julia, Michelle, Jude, Cynthia, Eleanor, Belle, Ebony, Stella and a lot more that cannot come to mind – and I also like Emma, Coraline, Dharla, Olivia, Lyla, Daisy, Lily, Daria, Dhalia and Emily.

12. What would you name your son if you had one?

Like the previous answer, anything Beatles-related – John, Paul, George, Harrison, Lennon, Mccartney, Julian, Dhani, Sean, Zak, Daniel, Michel and a lot more that cannot come to mind – and I also like Daniel, Noah, Kurt, Axl, Jimmy, Oliver, Logan and Alexander.

13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test?

Between 30 and 50 in Math.

14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?

That’s a long list, but anything I saw on Disney Channel, Power Rangers and anything I watched before I went to school (which were all Italian dubbed).

15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight?

Nothing. In Malta, we only started celebrating Halloween in the past ten years

16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series?

I’m currently on the third book of the Harry Potter series… is that bad? The rest no, and not interested.

17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent?

British… preferably Scouse or Irish.

18. Did your mother go to college?

Nope.

19. Are your grandparents still married?

Yes, even though one grandpapa passed away.

20. Have you ever taken karate lessons?

No, but I’d like to try!

21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is?

Who doesn’t?

22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to?

I think it’s one in Tunisia, over 10 years ago.

23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?

I used to be very fluent in French, but after I stopped studying it, I forgot how to speak it, so I’d like to re-start. I’d also like to speak Irish.

24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray?

Grey.

25. Is your father bald?

No, almost though!

26. Do you know triplets?

Just twins.

27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?

Titanic, all the way!

28. Have you ever had Indian food?

I don’t think I have.

29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?

Hard Rock Cafe, hell yes!

30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden?

We don’t have one in my country.

31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)?

No.

32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?

I asked this to my mum yesterday because I never really asked about this, and she told me they never really had a boy’s name in mind because they’ve always wanted a girl. But then she said that dad always loved Michel.

33. If you have a nickname, what is it?

Never really had one. But I used to be called Marshmallow back in secondary school because I had an obsession with them.

34. Who’s your favorite person in the world?

My mother. She’s the absolute best person. And my boyfriend and BFF (I haven’t forgotten about you loves!).

35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs?

Rural. I love peace and silence.

36. Can you whistle?

Yep!

37. Do you sleep with a nightlight?

I used to, but not anymore. Although my AC’s temperature is digital with a bright white LED display so hypothetically yes. I sleep with a nightlight.

38. Do you eat breakfast every morning?

Almost.

39. Do you take any pills or medication daily?

Yes, anxiety and vitamins for concentration.

40. What medical conditions do you have?

Crippling anxiety, social anxiety, depression and mild OCD.

41. How many times have you been to the hospital?

Twice, if you count the day I was born.

42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?

Uhhhhhhh, who hasn’t?!

43. Where do you buy your jeans?

New Look, Peacocks, Centro Moda, Matalan…

44. What’s the last compliment you got?

“Cutie” – from my boyfriend ❤

45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?

Most of the time, yes.

46. What flavor tea do you enjoy?

English breakfast, medium flavour strength.

47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?

Over 10… 15, 16?

48. What religion will you raise your children to practice?

I’m more a spiritual than religious person even though I was raised as one. I’ll teach my children what is right and wrong and I will respect whatever religion they want to practise.

49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real?

I don’t remember, but I was relieved because I was dead scared of him.

50. Why do you have a blog?

 Apart from always wanting to have one, I wanted to spread awareness on mental health and body positivity and equality and love around me.


I hope you got to know me better with this tag!

I know waaay too many bloggers, so if you’re one of them…

YOU’VE BEEN TAGGED!


 

Summer Survival 101

Summer… probably my least favourite season by a mile. The heat, the sweat, the chaffing of my thighs every time I dare wear a dress or shorts…! On the other hand, I get to do a lot of things I never get the time to do during Winter for various reasons: weather, time, money and a lot more.

Below are a list of things I do to survive summer, which I hope will help others. Sit back and enjoy!

Continue reading Summer Survival 101

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Around a week ago, I was nominated for my first award by the lovely Caroline. The rules are pretty simple . . .

Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog

Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them

Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer

Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post

Here are the questions I have been asked:

Why do you blog?

I blog not only because I’ve always wanted to or because I’ve been writing since I learned how to, but most especially to spread awareness on the stigma on mental health. To enjoy life and spread peace and love, one must be in love with his inner self, and that is what I advocate for.

What is your first memory?

Wow, um… I honestly have no idea. I never really thought about it, but I think it would be when I was still in Year 6 (9-10 years of age) and it suddenly hit me that in Year 7 I’d be separated from most of my friends, especially the male ones since I was going to an all-girls school. What can I say? I was a bit of a boy magnet!

If you were a painter, what would you paint?

I would paint something that makes people feel relaxed and at peace and loved, and they get the urge to spread those positive feelings everywhere they go. If I had to choose a painting that, in my opinion, represents that to me, it would be Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.

If you could live in any book, which would it be and why?

Many would say Harry Potter, but would you really want to live in a world where Umbridge was alive?! I think not! I’d probably live in the world of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, because it is so beautifully written. It’s a perfect example of a horror book appropriate for children.

What was your dream job when you were 5?

My earliest memory of talking about a career was when I was at a bank with my mother when I wasn’t even eight years old, and the nice lady banker asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I immediately replied, “A mummy.” She smiled and explained that anyone can be a mum. This was also a time where I thought babies were made when a man and a woman kissed.

After that, I think I’ve always been into jobs which required travelling: a tour leader, air hostess, museum curator, journalist, writer.

What is one thing you will never do?

Start a war. Literally, figuratively, hypothetically or metaphorically. War is never the solution to anything, but unfortunately not everyone agrees.

In an alternate reality, which country are you born/raised in?

Merseyside, Liverpool since the 1940s. I used to live in an area known as Speke, where my good friends George and Paul also lived. You might know them, they went on to became half of the very legendary band The Beatles.

If you could create a new food, what would it be and why?

A cake made entirely out of chips (fries for the Americans) and chicken and pizza. My mouth is currently watering at the thought!

What is your favorite smell/scent?

Tea and gasoline, the latter which I aware is really bad for my health, but I still love it.

What would be your superpower if you had one?

The ability to heal anyone and anything.

At some point in your life, would you like to know the future? (never, only under certain circumstances, absolutely, etc.)

Absolutely never! What if I turn out the opposite of who I am? I’d be devastated for sure! So no, I’ll live my life with lots of questions about my future, thank you very much.


My nominees are! . . .

  1. Alexandra
  2. Fiona
  3. Lyndsey
  4. Kezia
  5. Kelly
  6. Svetlana
  7. Caroline
  8. Yvonne
  9. Pavli
  10. Deborah
  11. Lara

My questions are! . . .

  1. What inspired you to blog?
  2. If you had to stick to one make-up brand for the rest of life, which would it be and why?
  3. Which is your favourite blog post?
  4. If you had to be one person – dead or alive – who would it be and what would be the first thing you did as this person?
  5. What’s your favourite place in the whole world?
  6. If you had to travel to the past in a particular decade, which would it be and why?
  7. What advice would you give to your younger self?
  8. Name three people you look up to.
  9. What is the one thing you never leave home without?
  10. What is your all-time favourite song?
  11. What advice would you give to beginner bloggers?

Study Routine

Between late April and late June, many of my friends and students will be doing their exams. Some exams are easy, some require more thinking and preparation leading up to the exam. But do not fret, my dear readers, because the genus of studying (not) is coming to your rescue! Please note that while I’m writing this, I’m actually supposed to study for my own exams… so, yeah. Read more if you’re clueless on studying like I was, and want to learn to make your work easier, more colourful/creative and efficient for you.

Continue reading Study Routine

“Deleting” The Past

No, no. I’m not talking about pressing the ‘Delete’ button on my old texts or Facebook posts. Or that I am somehow and miraculously going to erase my past…

Well it kinda is. But it’s far more different than that.

It’s my things.

So clothes, books, accessories, trinkets and things like those fall under this category. I never admitted this to anyone, but I was once an impulse buyer. Not of the expensive things, just things. Why? I think it’s because I thought if I had those things they might make me somehow cooler. Or more “myself”.

And before you say that I’m trying to be minimalistic like the vast majority of the bloggers and vloggers out there, let me stop you there. I have so many prized possessions – from books to merchandise and souvenirs – that I think I’d be the worst minimalistic Minimalist to ever walk this Earth.

Over this first year of recovery, I did multiple declutters… “friends”, emails, documents, social media, apps, photos, and much more. Now it’s time to do a physical declutter. So I’ll be selling my things on Depop. I’d done so much donating over the past few years, and right now I’m having some financial issues.

My goal is to sell my things and make just enough money to buy myself a camera for the blog. Now some answers to the questions you might be thinking of asking:

  1. Yes. I do have a job. I’m a TA.
  2. No, I no longer spend as much as I used to.
  3. Yes, I do know how to save money, thank you very much. It just never seems enough to get me by the month.
  4. My monthly fees include phone bills, doctor appointments, medications, 3-5 card lessons, transportation card, resources for work, photocopies for work, and many little bits and bobs that can easily amount to a lot of money.
  5. I need the camera for both my blog and travelling.
  6. No, I don’t have time for a side job, expect if it involves writing, because if so I’m up for it!
  7. Are you thinking about me setting up some charity case for my camera? Because I would… but then again, who would donate for a camera for a blogger whose followers don’t exceed a three-digit number?

So as a thaks for anyone who follows my blog, I will be giving a 10% discount if they want to buy something from Depop. How? Simply let me know your favourite post and/or leave a message with BLOGLOVE10 and you’re set!

So that’s it from me, see you on the flip side!

PS. I was also thinking of setting up requests for proofreading things and maybe writing pieces for a small amount of money? What do you think? Do I need a degree to proofread something? Let me know as I’m clueless about this.