Theatre Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Palace Theatre, London  

Admittedly, at first, I was sceptical of how well the play could create the brilliantly magical atmosphere of the Harry Potter world in comparison to the fantastic CGI of the films. However, upon my exit from the Palace Theatre’s doors I am happy to say I was absolutely blown away by the play’s special effects and story from start to end.

J K Rowling’s eighth story in the Harry Potter phenomenon (co-written by playwright Jack Thorne) starts where The Deathly Hallows ended, with Harry and Ginny waving their two sons off onto the Hogwarts Express. The transition from the muggle Kings Cross station to the infamous Platform 9 ¾ was flawless, portrayed by the stunning change of the boys from normal clothes into their black Hogwarts robes in the blink of an eye.

The hectic wizarding lifestyle is shown as the story jumps from scene to scene as we follow Sam Clemmett’s Albus Potter through his early Hogwarts years where his resentment of his father’s popularity continues to grow after his placement in Slytherin house. Scorpious Malfoy (brilliantly played by Anthony Boyle), who was by far the most entertaining and hilarious character, battles with the rumours that Draco may not be his father and in their angst, these two characters form a friendship that none of us could have expected.

By the end of the first part the two boys have changed the Hogwarts world as we knew it by using an illegal time-turner and trying to please Amos Digeory. The second part deals with the repercussions of this, one of which involves a dystopian world where Scorpious’ reluctance to accept it indefinitely showed his truly good intentions. We are visited by the Dementors in the most terrifying experience with them yet, where the fear is accentuated by the fact they are truly there in front of you.

The story’s dramatic ending meant that J K Rowling has added more substance to both the start end and middle of the story, thus enticing even the most veteran of ‘Potter-heads’ and with the sold-out show lasting till May 2017, it looks like we will be keeping the secrets for a long time.

Reviewed by Joseph Bird