Harry Potter and the Cursed Child officially opened in London’s Palace Theatre, and the fans are ecstatic, says the Telegraph.
July 31 is an important day for Harry Potter fans. It’s the birthday of writer J. K. Rowling, as well as her fictional creation, Harry Potter. It’s also the day hardcover copies of the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were released to bookstores around the world. The play itself officially opened at the Palace Theatre in London on Saturday, July 30, after a long preview season.
Theater critic Dominic Cavendish went into the theater a skeptic, but came out calling the play a “triumph.”
Those involved can give themselves a pat on the back. It’s a triumph. Not an unqualified one – there are some quibbles – but in all key respects, it grips, it stirs, it delights….You can’t stop watching. That’s partly down to the thrill-a-minute nature of the stage-craft, which kicks off the moment the Hogwarts pupils simulate the famous leap-of-faith charge from ‘muggle’ King’s Cross on to magical Platform 9 ¾, changing from everyday gear into school uniforms in the blink of an eye – how on earth do they do that?
The Daily Mail said Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was “filled with surprises.” The play is actually two plays, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part I and Part II. Theater critic Georgina Brown said the second half was better than the first.
“Real Potterheads will relish all the tiny in-jokes, though one next to me seemed mildly irritated by the exposition necessary to put the less fanatical in the picture…but Pottering along on its own terms, this show is a mere live owl short of Potteresque perfection.”
BBC, The Stage, the Independent, and the Daily Telegraph all gave Harry Potter and the Cursed Child five stars, according to the BBC. The Times gave it four and three-quarter stars, and The Guardian gave it four stars.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place after the epilogue of the seventh novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry Potter is no longer a child-hero. He’s a middle-aged civil servant now, married with three children. The play focuses on the relationship between Harry and his younger son, Albus Severus Potter. As with Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series, Al Potter suffers from Great Man’s Son Syndrome. His father is the greatest wizarding hero of the century, and that’s a difficult legacy for a child to live up to. The play also examines the relationship between Al’s schoolmate Scorpius Malfoy and his father, Draco Malfoy.
‘All the more mind-blowing for unravelling in the theatre, where the magic is real’ - The Mail on Sunday 5* pic.twitter.com/f3ISHKjvMv— Harry Potter Play (@HPPlayLDN) July 31, 2016
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stars Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Sam Clemmett as Albus Potter, Alex Price as Draco Malfoy, and Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy. Noma Dumezweni, who was born in Swaziland of South African parents, was controversially cast as Hermione Granger, and Cherrelle Skeete, an English-born actress of Afro-Caribbean heritage, as her daughter Rose Granger-Weasley.
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The New York Times reported that the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are already considering a Broadway production of the play. Although there have been some rumors that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might go to Toronto first and New York City second, producer Colin Callender said the rumors were false. J. K. Rowling has made it clear that she would not object to this, as she would like to bring the play to as many Harry Potter fans as possible.
[Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images]