The reviews are in, Potterheads!
On Tuesday, critics shared their thoughts on J.K. Rowling’s eighth “Potter” story: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” And according to their reviews, it looks like Rowling conjured up yet another riveting, fantastical storyline.
The spellbinding, two-part play, which will officially open Saturday, July 30, at the Palace Theatre in London, takes place 19 years after Rowling’s seventh and final book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” The two-decade jump allows fans to see Harry in his mid-30s in addition to meeting Albus Severus Potter, the son of the iconic wizard.
According to a synopsis of the play, Harry, a husband and father-of-three, is “an overworked employee” at the Ministry of Magic. And while Harry “grapples with his past,” his son Albus struggles with his family’s legacy. “As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth,” the summary continues, “sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
So, what did critics have to say about the highly hyped play? Well, the Daily Telegraph is calling “The Cursed Child” a “triumph.”
The Daily Telegraph: “British theatre hasn’t know anything like it for decades and I haven’t seen anything directly comparable in all my reviewing days,” Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish said, giving “The Cursed Child” five stars.
The Times: Ann Treneman cheekily gave the play four and 3/4 stars. The critic teased that even a “mere Muggle” could spot the wizardry within the magical storyline.
The Stage: Critic Mark Shenton dubbed the play as a “truly game-changing production and a thrilling theatrical endeavor.” He added that “The Cursed Child” could “prove to be one of the most influential and important theatre works of the century,” noting that the play will draw in a new audience to enjoy the magic of theater.
The New York Times: The outlet gave a standing ovation to Jamie Parker, who portrays “Potter's pain beautifully” and Noma Dumezweni who plays a “perfect” Hermoine. Ben Brantley also divulged that the production “captures Ms. Rowling’s sensibility even more persuasively than did the special-effects-driven films.”
The Guardian: Michael Billington gushed over the staging of “The Cursed Child,” stating that director John Tiffany and his designer Christine Jones “created magic out of the simplest ingredients.” But the critic continued to state that not even “brilliant use of suitcases and portable stairways” could eclipse the “strong performances” of the actors. He gave “The Cursed Child” four out of five stars.
Variety: The outlet is cleverly calling Rowling’s five-hour play “The Show That Lived Up To Expectations — and Then Some.” Critic Matt Trueman stated that the play, a “theatrical blockbuster,” is a captivating story that could bring a new generation to the theater.
“Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” will officially open on Saturday, July 30.