As you all know, we are now back in Blighty on our annual leave, and as a super-secret surprise for Sian, I took her along to the new Harry Potter backstage tour. They say it’s in London.
It’s in Watford, which is like 9947238473 miles away, but for someone like Sian it is definitely worth it. She LOVED it.
A complete surprise for her, I had this trip planned a good few weeks ago which is very rare indeed for me. For our honeymoon we went to Orlando and enjoyed the mini Hogwarts there. The theming was amazing and the ride was truly magical…if you’ll excuse the pun.
But this backstage tour is very different. Rather than trying to recreate the world of Harry Potter here in the real world. this trip is all about expelling the myths; exposing the sets and props, and showing just ‘how they did it all’. You’re treated to amazing sets with bare plaster board behind, huge mechanical structures complete with jacks and pumps and pullies hanging out of the back, and all the costumes and masks and animatronics that helped create the world of Harry Potter.
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of the films, for reasons I will not get into in this blog, but Sian loves them nearly as much as she does the books. I am happy to say that I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed the trip too. The amount of work that went into everything for those films truly is staggering. It was a great day for an aging theatre buff like me…and even better for the now giddy-like-a-school-girl Sian.
But the best part came at the end – if you are going to go to Hogwarts any time soon, I would recommend skipping this blog and I will see you next time…if you’re not, then please read on 😉
Still with me?
Ok, so the best bit of the tour BY FAR is the amazing model of Hogwarts right at the end. It is massive, and the detail and design that went into it, like everything else we saw on the day, truly is breathtaking.
This bad boy stood about 16 feet high, and it is this very model that you see during those sweeping shots throughout and over Hogwarts. I (like I am sure you did too) thought this was all CG, and so to see a full blown model of this magnitude really was awe inspiring. It is a wonderful homage to a dying art, and I was both surprised and grateful that this model was how it was all done…Too many effects are now done with cheap CG, rather than models, and you only have to watch the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ to see what I mean. Models cost a crap load – but the effect is oh so very worth it.
A thoroughly enjoyable day – and I recommend to anyone interested to take the journey to Watford…you won’t be disappointed…just expect to be forced to re-watch the films again once you get back…it seems to stir up some weird nostalgia in the Harry Potter-rites!
Thanks for reading guys – a million and six more advetures to come!
Maybe it’s because it’s our Nephew’s birthday this weekend. Maybe it’s because of the Olympics. Maybe it’s because Andy Murray is doing terribly well at Wimbledon and no one at the BBC will shut up about it. Maybe it’s because my machine has broken and I feel like I have achieved nothing at all today.
Whatever the reason is, we are missing home. Big time.
They say the grass is always greener, but I would trade anything with anyone right now for the cold and grey tinge of Blighty. If anyone fancies a crap load of stress, 31 degrees and (fairly) blue skies, please do message me. Because nothing is better than home.
Not even all the rum punches in the world.
Less melancholy, more photography to come this weekend 😉