A reviews round-up for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre in London.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the most highly anticipated show of the decade has now opened to magical reviews at the Palace Theatre.
Defying the naysayers, J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany have created a wonderfully inventive and magical production with a universal, relatable emotional core.
Read the reviews, below, and book tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews
"The spell-binding is utterly theatrical"
Emotional punch, rich suspense and dazzling effects make for all-round magic in the latest twist in Harry Potter’s tale
“Keep the Secrets” is the injunction on badges handed out as we leave the theatre. It’s a motto that makes life hard for us hacks, but I am happy to divulge that John Tiffany, as director of this pair of two-and-a-half-hour plays, has masterminded a thrilling theatrical spectacle. It is also one that will make much more sense to hardened Potterheads than to anyone who is not a member of the global cult.
"A magical experience tailor made for the stage"
Filled to the brim with fan service and magical imagery
"Cursed Child is a magical show with a strong emotional core"
"British theatre hasn't known anything like it for decades and I haven't seen anything directly comparable in all my reviewing days."
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Casts a Spell Onstage"
This production captures Ms. Rowling’s sensibility even more persuasively than did the special-effects-driven films. True, the movies were blessed with an unmatchable stable of idiosyncratic British character actors like Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith and, as Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes (now safely ensconced across town at the Almeida Theater, embodying another avatar of evil, Richard III). But in “The Cursed Child,” everyone onstage has direct, present-tense responsibility for the story being told. And most of them play many parts.
"It’s authentic Potter but, most importantly, it’s new. It’s not the movie of the book. It’s the real deal, live in front of you, so much better than any film could be"
"A magical experience: There are levitating broomsticks, fierce explosions, and a couple of chilling sequences"
John Tiffany’s finely orchestrated production is often gorgeous. Among the superb special effects, one of the best involves characters instantly assuming new identities after a shot of volatile Polyjuice Potion. There are levitating broomsticks, fierce explosions to accompany the wizards’ various spells, and a couple of chilling sequences in which soul-sucking Dementors swoop across the stage.
"Magical mystery throughout"
But I can happily shout out from the rooftops of the Palace Theatre – of all the theatres in the West End the one that most resembles Hogwarts – that this is a major work in its own right, with an entirely distinctive theatrical life and shape.
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It has taken more than a drop of Polyjuice Potion to turn Harry Potter into this latest incarnation. J.K. Rowling has collaborated with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany to propel the narrative into a new medium for the series’ eighth instalment. Mutations — as Harry himself knows — can be risky. But here the spell has worked. The result, delivered in two parts, is thrilling: gripping, dark, wittily acted and often visually dazzling.
"The biggest theatre hit of modern times bar none is Jack Thorne and JK Rowling's epic two-part eighth adventure for erstwhile boy wizard Harry Potter"