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Photo credit: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

Everything you need to know about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

In 2016, a spell was cast over the West End. Its end result? A magical mystery at the Palace Theatre. Ever since the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began entrancing audience members, Harry Potter fans world over have flocked to the West End to enjoy the latest story in the Harry Potter series. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has never been more exciting than on stage.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. It allows audiences to reunite with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as adults.

Here's our complete guide to the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets are on sale now.

What is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child about?

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. 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.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play that is presented in two parts. They're intended to be watched in Part One, then Part Two. Ticket buyers can choose to see both parts of the play in one day as a matinee or evening, or on two consecutive evenings. Or, if you want to, you can see both Parts months apart.

Should I see the Harry Potter films first before watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

You can enjoy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child if you've never watched the films. But, to get the full experience from the play, we'd recommend watching the Harry Potter films or reading the original Harry Potter novels. The play is a continuation of the novels, set 19 years after the ending of the final book.

When did Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiere?

The world premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was in London. It was at the Palace Theatre, with previews from 7 Jun. 2016 ahead of an opening day on 30 Jul. 2016. The opening night was the day before Harry Potter's birthday, on 31 July.

After sell-out performances in London, Harry Potter then flew on his Nimbus 2000 to Broadway. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began Broadway previews at the Lyric Theatre on 16 Mar. 2018, ahead of an opening night on 22 Apr. 2018.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has since made its Australasian premiere, opening in Melbourne. A Canadian premiere is scheduled for Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre in 2022.

Who wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play is by Jack Thorne. However, it's based on original ideas by Thorne, John Tiffany and the Harry Potter novelist J. K. Rowling. Jack Thorne is an English playwright whose works include the now annual play adaptation of A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic. He's also adapted Woyzeck, as well as penned the television adaptation of His Dark Materials.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

Who is in the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast from October 2021 includes Jamie Ballard as Harry Potter, Susie Trayling as Ginny Potter, Dominic Short as Albus Potter, Thomas Aldridge as Ron Weasley, Michelle Gayle as Hermione Granger, Phoenix Edwards as Rose Granger-Weasley, Draco Malfoy as James Howard and Luke Sumner as Scorpius Malfoy. 

The adult cast is completed by Lola Adaja, Samson Ajewole, David Annen, Valerie Antwi, Sue Appleby, Phil Cheadle, Craig Connolly, Robert Curtis, Tim Dewberry, Jim Fish, Thomas Gilbey, Jemma Gould, Rachel Hinds, Jordan Lang, Ronnie Lee, Katrina Lopes, Lucy Mangan, David Mara, Lucia McAnespie, Jayne McKenna, Kathryn Meisle, Gordon Millar, Ian Redford, Thomas Royal, Tom Sturgess, Joshua Talbot, Mark Theodore, Emma-May Uden, Madeleine Walker and Wreh-asha Walton. 

The seven-strong childrens cast includes Noah Alexander, Tom Quinn Alexander, Abby Barnes, Harley Barton, Chase Collard, Samuel Newby and Cici Smith. Read more about the full cast here.

Who was in the original cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

The original cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child starred Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, who has since been in The Doctor at the Almeida Theatre opposite Juliet Stevenson. Paul Thornley played Ron Weasley, with Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter, Alex Price as Draco Malfoy, Sam Clemmett as Albus Potter, Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy and Cherrelle Skeete as Rose Granger-Weasley/Young Hermione.

What theatre in London is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playing at?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is at the Palace Theatre, where the world premiere production took place. During the pandemic, the Palace Theatre was home to multiple West End concerts including The Show Must Go On! which raised over £1 million for charities. Previous shows include The Commitments and Singin' in the Rain.

What is the running time of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

In total, both Parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child run for 5 hours and 15 minutes. The running time of Part One is 2 hours and 40 minutes and Part Two is 2 hours and 35 minutes. Both Parts have a 20 minute interval.

What are the reviews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in London to a plethora of five star reviews. In a review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, "We are immediately plunged into another of J.K Rowling's ingeniously plotted rabbit holes of collisions between the natural and supernatural worlds, Muggles and mystery, Wizards and wonderment, and good and evil... It's a show rich in theatrical magic as well as evoking magical powers, but also deeply human, too, with fantastic performances from a brilliant ensemble cast." 

In a review for The Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish said: ""This is a production that thrills at the aura of possibility lurking in the Victorian splendour of the theatre itself, a bygone age of smoke and mirrors." Similarly for The Guardian, Michael Cavendish said: "I got as much pleasure from the staging as from the convoluted story. Tiffany and his designer, Christine Jones, have created magic out of the simplest ingredients... while it helps to be a paid-up Potterhead, Tiffany and his team stage the piece with such dazzling assurance that I finally began to see the point of being wild about Harry." 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

What awards has Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child made history in 2017 as the most nominated play of all time at the Olivier Awards, taking home nine. Its Broadway production also walked away with many Tony Awards. Find out which major awards have been won by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Olivier Awards

Best New Play
Best Director - John Tiffany
Best Actor - Jamie Parker (as Harry Potter)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Noma Dumezweni (as Hermione Granger)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Anthony Boyle (as Scorpius Malfoy)
Best Costume Design - Katrina Lindsay
Best Set Design - Christine Jones
Best Sound Design - Gareth Fry
Best Lighting Design - Neil Austin

Tony Awards

Best Play
Best Direction of a Play - John Tiffany
Best Scenic Design in a Play - Christine Jones
Best Costume Design in a Play - Katrina Lindsay
Best Lighting Design in a Play - Neil Austin
Best Sound Design in a Play - Gareth Fry

How do I get tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets in London are available from 14 October. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is at the Palace Theatre.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets are on sale now. Book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on LondonTheatre.co.uk.

Photo credit: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

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