The Dazzling Wizardry of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Diehard Potterheads — fans of all things Butterbeer, Horcruxes and Sorting Hats — have probably seen Broadway’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by now. But if for some mystical reason you have yet to experience the play that continues the story of The Boy Who Lived, we have a bottomless bag of reasons to jump on your broom ASAP.
It's won more awards than you can shake a (magic) stick at… The London production was nominated for a record 11 Olivier Awards and won a record nine. And despite the fact that the musical has only been on stage in New York since April 2018, it has already won six Tony Awards, including Best Play.
It features a lot more of your favorite characters than you might think… Even if you haven’t seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you’re probably aware that the play features Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as adults. But you might not know that the story also showcases Hagrid, Dumbledore, Dolores Umbridge and centaur Bane.
Fans are being tight-lipped about the story… If you want to know what happens, don't expect that friend who queued up at midnight for every Harry Potter book launch to tell you anything. Fans have been explicitly asked to #KeepTheSecrets, so you have no choice but to go to the theatre to find out what happens to Harry after the events of the book/film series. (Well, if you really want to know what happens, you can read the whole plot on Wikipedia. But who wants to go hunting for spoilers?)
It’s darker than the books and films put together… There’s not too much more we can say about that without incurring the wrath of the aforementioned anti-spoiler brigade. But the story does pack some emotional gut punches that are liable to set off the waterworks. You have been warned.
It’s now a global phenomenon… Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in London’s West End in 2016, causing a surge in global Potter-fever once again. And the popularity of the play grew even further when the US version of the production launched at New York’s Lyric Theatre in April 2018. Earlier this year, an Australian production kicked off at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne. Cursed Child comes to San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in October, and to the Mehr! Theater in Hamburg, Germany, in 2020.
There are rumors of a Cursed Child film adaptation… JK Rowling whipped PotterHeads into a frenzy when she announced via social media that she was on her way to a meeting with Warner Bros., the studio that produced the other Harry Potter films. While the writer of the original series was likely referencing the next Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them film, she could have been teasing fans about a cinematic version of the hit play. Warner Bros. has registered Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as a film title, which suggests they are at the very least considering it. If a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child film does indeed happen, the release date would likely be in 2026 after the Fantastic Beasts series comes to an end.
It’s an epic story spread over two parts… Director John Tiffany said, “It shares a scale and ambition with all the Harry Potter stories, so in order to do this justice we have decided to present the play in two parts.” It’s recommended that theatregoers see each part in the same day or over two consecutive evenings.
The story was co-written by JK Rowling herself… The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script was written by Jack Thorne, but the fantasy series author JK Rowling played a big part in shaping the story. The writer assured audiences that the story would be true to its origins and that a theatrical performance was the best medium to tell it.
Very Mild Spoiler Warning… Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the events of The Deathly Hallows, but picks up right where the last book/film left off with Harry, Ron and Hermione seeing their children off as they board the train to Hogwarts.
Critics and fans love it… Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been praised by both critics and fans. Just three weeks into its previews, it had already become Broadway’s all-time highest grossing play. The USA Today deemed it “a work of theatrical magic that has to be seen to be believed.” Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson confessed he was followed by “a little melancholy murmur as I left the beautifully renovated Lyric Theatre at the end of my many-hour viewing marathon.”