Discover his inspiration for the children’s story about a cheeky little fellow with big dreams of being in the spotlight.
Based on an original story by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continues to draw praise from fans and critics alike as it extends its run at London’s Palace Theatre in the heart of the West End to 2 August 2020.
The two-part play picks up where the books left off, which originally followed the magical adventures of the title character and friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
The eighth story in the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the most awarded new play in theatre history with over 24 major UK accolades to its name, including nine coveted Olivier Awards. Written for the stage by Jack Thorne, it opened in London’s West End in July 2016 and now also plays on Broadway and at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre in Australia. The show is currently preparing for a further production to open in October 2019 in San Francisco and, in spring 2020, a German language version of the play – marking its first non-English language production – in Hamburg, Germany,
Here’s everything fans need to know about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, and the first official story to be performed on stage. Written by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany, the play sees the title character as a father of three, working at the Ministry of Magic.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
The story is presented across two parts, with music and arrangements by Imogen Heap – who last year recorded The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, released by Sony Music Masterworks.
Jamie Ballard continues in the role of Harry Potter with Susie Trayling as Ginny Potter. Thomas Aldridge continues as Ron Weasley, as does James Howard as Draco Malfoy and Jonathan Case as his son, Scorpius.
Actress and former popstar Michelle Gayle takes on the role of Hermione. Rayxia Oko plays Rose Granger-Weasley and Dominic Short plays Albus Potter.
The 42-strong company is completed by Lola Adaja, David Annen, Valerie Antwi, Emma Bown, Adrian Christopher, Craig Connolly, Robert Curtis, Tim Dewberry, Rachelle Diedericks, Blythe Duff, Antony Eden, Jim Fish, Thomas Gilbey, Elliot Grihault, Rosie Hilal, Joseph Horsford, Mia Hudson, William Lawlor, Susan Lawson-Reynolds, Ronnie Lee, Ryan J Mackay, Lucy Mangan, David Mara, Barry McCarthy, Marcus McKinlay, Kathryn Meisle, Gordon Millar, Duncan Shelton, Molly Shenker, Luke Sumner, Mark Theodore, Emma-May Uden, Madeleine Walker and Maddy Yates.
See the cast in rehearsal below:
Fans of the Harry Potter series can expect to be more than fulfilled in this theatrical epic. Told over two parts, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a sweeping tale about parenthood and legacy, and deals with some pretty powerful themes that feel in-keeping with the tropes of the original stories, building on the tales of what happened to The Boy That Lived.
Housed at the grand Palace Theatre in the heart of the West End, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an exciting journey from start to finish. Even the gothic, grand opulence of the theatre feels like something out of Hogwarts, and from the very opening moments of Part One, the magical universe created by J.K. Rowling comes to life on stage through the use of brilliant, jaw-dropping visual effects.
Aside from the stunning visuals, some of the most thrilling moments of the show are the ways in which the characters from the original books and movies have been translated to the stage. This story takes place at the end of the final book in Rowling’s series, 19 years after Lord Voldemort has been vanquished. As such, the Harry, Hermione and Ron we recognise are adults here: Hermione is Minister for Magic, and the children of Hogwarts are now the next generation of wizards and witches.
And yet despite this, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child remains remarkably accessible for those who don’t consider themselves Potterheads. Of course, some knowledge of the Wizarding World is beneficial, but audience members who have never seen the films or read the books are probably aware of enough of the backstory to find a way in to the Cursed Child’s sweeping narrative.
“A magical experience” ★★★★★ – London Evening Standard
“Potteresque perfection” ★★★★★ – Mail on Sunday
“Always spellbinding” ★★★★★ – Metro
“The magical marvel we’ve been waiting for” ★★★★★ – The Sunday Times
“A triumph. It grips, it stirs, it delights” ★★★★★ – The Daily Telegraph
“It is out of this world. It’s magic and it’s a hit” ★★★★★ – The Times
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child runs at London’s Palace Theatre, now booking until 2 August 2020.
Tickets can be purchased for Part One and Part Two on the same day or consecutive performances, and the same seats will be allocated for both shows.
Tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Photos by Manuel Harlan