Harry Potter And The Cursed Child review

heat's verdict on the new chapter in JK Rowling's epic saga

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast

by Boyd Hilton |
Published on

After quite a few weeks of previews in which the cast and creative team ironed out any wrinkles, the much anticipated stage play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child finally opens this week. And heat has seen the entire, epic two-part production, all five hours of it (plus intervals). Here's what we thought...

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child - absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child: The Story

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast
Jamie Parker, who plays a grown up Harry

The idea of a Harry Potter play was first mooted three years ago by theatrical producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender. JK Rowling got together with playwright and TV dramatist Jack Thorne (Skins, The Last Panthers), and director John Tiffany (with whom Thorne worked on the brilliant stage version of vampire film Let The Right One In) and they came up with what is effectively the sequel to the Harry Potter books, with Harry now a middle-aged married man, married to Ginny Weasley with three kids.

Ginny's brother Ron is with Hermione and they have a daughter. The play focuses on Harry's troubled middle child, Albus, who's off to Hogwarts to study, where he befriends Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry's old sparring partner Draco.

New Harry Potter play The Cursed Child WILL be a sequel!

The Production

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast
The new Hermione, aka Noma Dumezweni

The complex, multi-layered storyline not only cuts between the adult characters as they face new threats to the peace of the wizarding world and their offspring, grappling with very typical teen angst and their own dangers at school and beyond, but it also plays with time, with dazzling jumps around different time periods and alternative universes.

The ingenious revolving set doubles for Hogwarts, the Ministry Of Magic and other locations, and a series of stunning special effects will have you shaking your head in disbelief as you try to work out how they manage to achieve such magic in the context of a live stage production.

The Verdict

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast
RON (played by Paul Thornley

The plot is endlessly gripping, full of major revelations and insights into the Potter world, while also giving enough time to the characters to evolve in intriguing, unexpected ways, with the relationship between Albus Potter and Scorpius particularly moving. The cats is pretty great, but special kudos must go to Jamie Parker for his intense, conflicted Harry and the brilliantly likeable and funny Anthony Boyle as Scorpius. Sure, it's about fantasy and magic and destiny, but above all it's a truly wonderful rumination on friendship.

heat rating: FIVE STARS

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2 open at London's Palace Theatre from 30 July 2016.


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