“Harry Potter” in Hamburg: intermediate balance of the successful play NDR.de – Culture

Status: 29/04/2022 14:49

“Harry Potter and the Enchanted Child” is a huge success at the Mehr! Theater in Hamburg. Advance sales for the new season, which starts in November, have started. An interim report with background information.

by Annette Matz

So far, more than 100,000 spectators have watched the performances of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” in Hamburg. Tickets for the new season from November 2022 to the end of March 2023 are now on sale.

VIDEO: Premiere: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” (2 min)

Only broken five wands

With “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, only five magic wands have broken since its premiere last December. Fantastic: Because there is breathless turbulence on stage. The ensemble must be fit so that everyone can endure. A warm-up before each performance is mandatory and has it all. “Sport is super important in relation to this show because it’s just incredibly exhausting what we do here on eight shows a week,” says Movement Captain Felicitas Bauer Flying to the dance numbers.

The term “warming up” is almost a bit of an understatement for these strenuous exercises. Strength training, fitness and yoga are mandatory before each performance – for all 36 actors. Always. “This is how you gather before the show and create a group feeling. On this show, you have to get together. And you can do that in the warm-up,” says her colleague Benjamin Merkel.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: There is no magic without timing

The pointers need a high degree of concentration, Merkel adds. Anyone who has been there signs it right away. The actions on stage are fast, precise, without pause, almost breathless, many costume changes and without proper timing – no magic. Everything must fit.

Two young actors in the musical Harry Potter, a young woman with long dark hair and a young man, stand in front of a brick wall: Movement Captians Felicitas Bauer and Benjamin Merkel (from left to right).  © NDR / Annette Matz Photo: Annette Matz

The two movement captains Felicitas Bauer and Benjamin Merkel keep their colleagues in shape.

There is also yoga so that the actors can mentally follow the long shows. “Learn to concentrate your mind on something and to let external circumstances go, to really focus on one thing.” Special concentration is required for this show. Yoga is great for cultivating this, Merkel says.

The two movement trainers are also present in the play. Felicitas Bauer as the cool witch Polly Chapman who comes to Hogwarts the same year as Harry Potter’s son. And Benjamin Merkel is a “swing”: He says he is, so to speak, the jack of all trades. He knows many roles from the ensemble, including the small supporting roles, and can thus “replace everything that can be done on stage. And I am also an understudy for Scorpius.”

Of course, there is always a certain amount of stress. You never know what to expect, but it never gets boring that way. Even during the Corona period, the actors met via video calls for fitness training. Until the rehearsals finally got underway again.

Extensive maintenance of the 560 costumes in Mehr! Theater in Hamburg

In the costume department backstage: Hermine's costume © NDR / Annette Matz Photo: Annette Matz

Backstage in the costume department: This precious piece by Hermione is just one of 560 costumes, 60 capes and 100 different wigs.

Almost every day, many of the 560 costumes are ironed, 100 different wig styles and 60 magic capes are protected. Tickets are expensive: From almost 100 euros to almost 280 euros in row 4 in the stalls – depending on when you go. It also shocks some viewers, but apparently deters very few. In the end, according to the audience, the five-hour performance was worth the money: “It cost something, but overall it was worth it. You could see that it was very elaborate: the costumes, the actors, there is a lot behind it. that, ”says one of the happy visitors.

The audience travels from Görlitz, from Thuringia, from Mainz, from Frankfurt, from Bavaria, from Brandenburg, from Dresden. Some have finally redeemed their 2019 Christmas present, many had to leave the tickets they had bought in a drawer for two years because the theater was closed during the pandemic. Maybe that’s why the audience’s glasses turn a little pink with relief over finally being there.

After the performance, there is certainly enthusiasm – especially among those who have had direct contact with the “Lord” (the one whose name may not be mentioned). One visitor enthusiastically recounts, “The whole setting, it was like magic. We sat in the front row, it was especially exciting.” You experienced every single detail there in a particularly impressive way and got water off the stage. “And then Voldemort walked past you, it was impressive!

More info

Ingo Zamperoni is coming to the German premiere of the play

The German-language premiere at the Mehr! Theater at the Grossmarkt in Hamburg had previously been postponed due to the pandemic. more

Actor Markus Schöttl (back top right) as Harry Potter and actress Jillian Anthony (back top l) as Hermine Granger standing on stairs in a scene

6 min

The ensemble of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is colorful. A result of the “color-blind casting” strategy? 6 min

Wayne and Annemarie Carpendale pose for the cameras.

4 min

A number of celebrities have announced that they will be performing the German-language premiere at the Mehr! Theater. Britta Johns is on site. 4 min

Maik Klokow at the construction site for

Maik Klokow about the 2G Plus rule in the theater and his expectation of the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. more

Uwe Serafin © NDR

The actor portrays Lord Voldemort, Professor Severus Snape and Uncle Vernon in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. more

The actors in the play

The Englishman Imogen Heap wrote the music for the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. more

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NDR 90.3 | NDR 90.3 Current | 28/04/2022 | 12:00

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