Culture, Events, London, Theatre, Theatre, West-End

Lumos Gala at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Bet there’s an awful lot of you reading this post who are HUGE Harry Potter fans. You could quote the books, discuss which Hogwarts house you’d be in and what your wand would be made out of for hours. J.K Rowling is your Kween and you constantly screenshot her tweets to whatsapp to your pals with a crown emoji.

But how many of you Potterheads know much about the charity she founded, Lumos? I didn’t know jack about it until I was approached and asked if I’d consider becoming an ambassador for the charity. And my my my I have learnt so much.

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The charity works tirelessly to help the 8 million children (yup, 8 million. S’alot innit.) around the globe who are currently living in orphanages and institutions. What’s utterly astounding, is that 80% of these children have at least one living parent, but are removed for all sorts of reasons- disability, discrimination, poverty and trafficking. Lumos believe that children need families, not orphanages.

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Being in these institutions harms their health and development, increases their exposure to abuse and a recent study suggested that one in seven are likely to be involved in prostitution when they leave, one in five will go on to have a criminal record and one in ten – ONE IN TEN – will kill themselves.

Once I’d absorbed some of this information I was on board without a second thought, and geared up to help promote the new Lumos Campaign which is all about 1) spreading the word and 2) these spangly new limited edition t-shirts they’ve launched (buy one here, they’re literally so nice and only available until October!)

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As an ambassador for the charity, I was invited to a breakfast launch at The Hospital Club on Sunday for their new campaign, and to hear about the charity and the amazing work they do worldwide.

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Munching on bacon bagels, strong coffee, fresh fruit, pastries and yoghurt pots, we listened as Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in the HP films) spoke about her experiences visiting orphanges in Haiti, Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick in the films) described what he’d seen on a Lumos trip to Moldova and Georgette Mulheir and Billy DiMichele who chair the charity gave such an inspiring talk, plus Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy, no wait more like LUSHius Malfoy my word he is dashing <3) was there to take questions from the floor. Also- Evanna Lynch is such a BABE. She was showing us videos on her phone of Coldplay’s Chris Martin singing songs about how much he wants to be in Gryffindor and was just super lovely and friendly. Girl crush.

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

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photo by David. M Benett

photo by David. M Benett

Afterwards, we strolled over to The Palace Theatre to take our seats for Part One of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And I mean, we were excited. SQUEALING ALL OVER THE SHOP.

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Before the play began, J.K Rowling herself took to the stage amidst thunderous applause to make a speech about Lumos and to give her personal thanks to supporters of the charity (read the speech in full here). She personally funds the overhead costs and admin costs of the entire charity, so any money that is raised or donated goes directly to the work they do. How incredible is that? And yes I cried when I saw her. KWEEN.

And then the play began. Obviously I can’t talk about anything that happens in it because #KeepTheSecrets but needless to say both parts are phenomenal.

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The story is touching and beautiful, the performances are absolutely brilliant, the direction, choreography and music are all completely inspired and the onstage magic is absolutely breathtaking. I had my reservations about the play, because I wasn’t convinced that the story needed another part plus I feel that by making it into plays it’s very inaccessible to Potter fans worldwide who have been loyal to the stories and for whom those characters and books mean so much to (reading the script is soooo not the same), but I can’t deny that I absolutely j’adored every minute of being sat in that theatre and it was so magical, actual tingles and goosebumps magical, to see those characters and the wizarding world again. POTTERHEAD FOR LYFE.

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After Part Two finished and the applause had finally stopped, we piled over the road to Vico, a gorgeous Southern Italian Restaurant for the afterrrr partayyyy. Staff bustled around with trays of Aperol Spritz, prosecco and the most DELICIOUS canapes (shoutout to the lasagne arancini), the gelato bar served up a whole host of dribble-worthy ice-creams and cast members from both the plays and the films mingled with Lumos ambassadors and staff.

It was the most incredible, inspiring day. I came away with my heart aching with happiness and my head teeming with new information. It was also so brilliant to share the day with three of my best blogging buddies (and some of the hugest Harry Potter nerds on the planet), Katy, Ashleigh and Charlie.

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If you’d like to get involved with Lumos, visit the website HERE, use the hashtag #WeAreLumos on twitter, and remember to get your mitts on one of the limited edition t-shirts STAT. I’m wearing mine with absolute pride.

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