We love surprises: especially special guest appearances.
Weasley twin actors James and Oliver Phelps were in attendance at the preview of the Harry Potter: The Exhibition; this exhibition officially opens tomorrow at the ArtScience Museum.
(L-R): Oliver and James Phelps at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition preview in Singapore
The two Harry Potter actors celebrated the exhibition’s first-ever Asian stop in Singapore, chatting with reporters about their favourite exhibits, as well as their best and worst memories of filming the Potter movies.
Their best experience on set: hanging with fellow cast members Rupert Grint, Matthew Lewis and the lot. The worst? “Getting our hair dyed,” groaned Oliver. The naturally brunette twins had to dye their hair red before filming began for each of the eight instalments.
As for this exhibition, the long-haired James Phelps shared that the Dark Forces section was his personal favourite: “it is spooky but it’s great fun to see the surprised looks on (the guests’) faces”.
Clearly, the Phelps twins do share the prankster streak of Fred and George Weasley. Once, just for laughs, they’d shocked a sleeping cast member awake — the unfortunate actor was roommates with the twins — by abruptly turning their computer game to full volume.
Apparently, this was a tame incident, by their standards; the twins were mischievously coy about the more dramatic pranks they’ve played.
So, what can visitors expect at this exhibition? Check out our list of seven must-dos for this Potter event.
1. Get sorted by the Sorting Hat
Oliver and James Phelps at the Sorting Hat section
One lucky guest will get sorted at each group performance, shown right at the start of the exhibition. So be gung-ho and volunteer, before the next guest beats you to it.
2. Pull out crying Mandrakes
These Harry Potter plant/creatures start shrieking the second they’re raised out of the pot. A note to parents: the mandrakes are quite hefty, so keep an eye on your kids when they’re lifting them.
3. Shoot quaffles through Quidditch hoops
Okay, there’s no flying brooms involved in this section. Still, you do get to shoot those Quidditch goal-scoring quaffle balls through hoops at this interactive exhibit.
4. Sit on Hagrid’s huge armchair
Go on, make yourself truly at home in Hagrid’s hut. Sit on his comfy and huge red armchair and admire the oversized decor. We do feel like Alice after she sips just a bit of “Drink Me” shrinking tea: all objects in this hut make it truly a half-giant’s humble abode.
5. Walk through the grand doors of the Great Hall and more Hogwart rooms
The detail on the walls and doorways is amazing to behold.
These iconic Hogwart rooms and halls are reproductions of the original Harry Potter movie sets: all manufactured in Leavesden by the same Warner Bros. Studios production crew.
Seen here: The Gryffindor Common Room and the Great Hall of Hogwarts
As Potter fans would know, the official Harry Potter studio tour is held in Leavesden, London, the actual filming location of the Potter movies for 10 whole years.
6. Take your time to explore Potter rooms and artifacts
Spanning nine sections across the basement level of the ArtScience Museum, we’re not kidding when we say that there’s plenty to see in this exhibition.
With easily hundreds of authentic costumes and props on display, you’ll miss out on many of the top must-see objects if you speed through the exhibition in under an hour. Even with two hour-long rounds through the exhibition, we still managed to miss out on Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner.
House Elf Dobby at Harry Potter: The Exhibition
One could potentially miss out on seeing Dobby the Elf too, if you’re only making a cursory look at the artifacts; he stands behind a glass case, in front of the stained glass pane at the Great Hall.
Even if you’ve visited this Potter exhibition abroad, there’s still something new to see: all seven of Lord Voldemort’s horcruxes, including his pet snake Nagini, make their first appearance at this Singapore exhibition.
7. Bring home a bit of Potter magic
Shopping for Harry Potter fan merchandise is hardly something you should miss out on; we found it so much fun that we’re also featuring the top items to buy here.
Whether you’re magical or muggle, trawling the gift shop is a must-do at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition; the shop itself recreates the Diagon Alley shopping experience with its ornate decor and its deliberately disorganised array of goods. You could stumble across that wand you’ve been wanting to buy; or ask for help from the ever-friendly shop assistants.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition opens from June 2 to September 30, 2012 at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. Prices: from $13 for child admission, $20 for adult admission.
For more ticketing and exhibition information, visit www.marinabaysands.com/Singapore-Museum.
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