Drawing: Noma Dumezweni, Jamie Parker and Paul Thornley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Saturday saw the World Premiere gala performance of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO, following six weeks of previews at London’s Palace Theatre.  The eighth story in the Harry Potter adventure, set nineteen years after the final novel ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ is a play by John Thorne, based on an original story by J.K. Rowling and directed by Jack Tiffany. It’s actually split into two plays, cunningly named Part One and Part Two and follows a middle-aged Harry, who is now a Ministry of Magic employee and his son Albus Severus Potter. Originally booking until 18 September, tickets went on sale in October 2015 and immediately sold out, extending the run into next year.

Norma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, Minister for Magic, Jamie Parker as Harry, Head of Magical Law Enforcement and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley who is married to Hermione play the leads. Other major casting includes Sam Clemmett as Albus, Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter, Harry’s wife and Cherrelle Skeete as Ron and Hermione’s daughter, Rose Granger-Weasley.

The most pre-ordered book of the year – a ‘Special Rehearsal Edition’ of the script, not a novelisation, went on sale the day after the Premiere (incidentally Harry’s and JK Rowling’s birthdays) with people queuing at bookstores for the midnight release on Saturday. Since revisions were still taking place after it was printed, a ‘Definitive Collector’s Edition’ is due in 2017.

Noma, Jamie and Paul signed this sketch for me in the first week of previews.

Drawing: Jenny Seagrove in A Daughter’s a Daughter

Jenny Seagrove A daughters daughter

This was the other sketch Jenny Seagrove signed for me a couple of weeks ago as she arrived at the Theatre Royal Haymarket where she is currently appearing in Alan Ayckbourn’s HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES.

It’s from Agatha Christie’s mother-daughter drama A DAUGHTER’S A DAUGHTER, which had its West End debut at the Trafalgar Studios in December 2009. It was penned under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, which Agatha Christie used for a series of six romantic novels between 1930 – 1956. It is very different to her other stage work and is considered a more personal play than anything else.

Jenny played Ann, a widow, whose only daughter Sarah (played by Honeysuckle Weeks – not a name you could forget) returns home after the Second World War. Resentment and jealously rages as gradually their relationship corrodes. I drew a quick biro sketch of Jenny and Honeysuckle, which they both signed for me in early 2010, at the end of the run. This is a more detailed study of Jenny in her role and a superimposed portrait with my trusty 4B pencil.