“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”
I had to agree with Harry Potter on this one as I delved into the depths of Lancaster’s ex-prison.
Mischief was in the air as wannabe witches and wizards waited eagerly for their Hogwarts house choice and rules.
Goblins, gatekeepers and more witches and wizards roamed the castle’s courtyard, preparing to a cast a spell on all those who entered.
Sneaky Experience, the producers behind the live cinema event, did a good job of not stepping on Warner Bros. copyright restrictions.
All houses, such as Gryffindor and Slytherin and the term ‘Muggle’ (a non-magical person) could not be spoken by the actors.
But visitors loved the scheme with many pushing to be in “red” as it produced the best similarity to the Gryffindor house, and of course Potter’s team.
Potion class was first on list and crowds, donning fancy dress made their way to a dark, cobwebbed room. Snape (a bit too happy for the character) was waiting to teach youngsters the ‘Draught of Living Death’ potion but some added too many ingredients and unfortunately Snape reached an untimely demise.
A walk through the courtyard led us to the Herbolgy Faculty.
My sad attempt at constructing a Mandrake (a plant which has a root that looks like a human), brought back unwanted memories of why I never continued my A level art. The kids were much better.
We were told to make these as quick as we could as organisers tried to get all groups around the classes.
The final class, the Den of the Dark Arts was a little more, eventful.
Our red team was told to chant and repeat the spells from the witch, who reminded me of Bellatrix Lestrange.
We did as we were told.
We were then left to wander the courtyard in search of food and drink.
Whilst the children went off to take part in the house team games and broom challenges, the adults were left to try the various magical cocktails on offer in the Sneaky Cauldron.
Popping candy vodka and of course, the famous Butterbeer were a favourite of mine.
As the ‘Deathly Hallows Part 1’ film began, audiences were treated to owl displays, a fire show and were refreshed with treats by the Sweet Trolly Lady.
The arrival of rain brought a dampener to the evening, resulting in early departure.
But having seen the film already, I left with a smile and a magical taste in my mouth, perhaps from all the potions.
Hats off to Sneaky Experience who had a beautiful, and mysterious location to play with.
The historic setting providing a intimate atmosphere to the Harry Potter world, on par, perhaps on a higher level, to Warner Bros, London tour of Harry Potter.