The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has claimed its place as the play of the year — it is quite simply magic

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eagerly awaited eighth story; the newest part of the Harry Potter series. We follow Harry’s life 19 years later, with Harry now a Ministry of Magic employee, husband, and father. This story has been set specifically for the stage and as an intrigued and a self-proclaimed Potter fan I was one of many queuing for tickets when they were released last year.

Wow, just wow, it was worth the wait.

The play features the re-emergence of familiar faces and characters we have seen grow up, but also welcomes the new. Albus and Scorpius — the son’s of former enemies, Harry and Draco — create a duo based on strong friendship and a desire for justice.

It is a story that holds parallels to the series, celebrating courage and friendship but it is not without unexpected twists and turns. We return to some of the most memorable times of Harry’s world, in a totally new light, exploring the manner in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione fight with the past. But this is truly a tale of Albus and Scorpius and a parable about magic’s restrictions in today’s world. Albus’ determination mirrors Harry’s own adventures of bravery — and at times disobedience — with one of times biggest lessons to learn.

The theatrical side of this production is really where the play shone. I have never witnessed such clever incorporation of dance, choreography, and scene changes, all of which allowed the story to flow continuously.

Yet it is the magic of the show that takes centre stage, perhaps it is the magic of theatre, the belief of the audience, or the Harry Potter world the audience knows and loves. Spells from the good-old ‘expelliarmus’ to duels between Harry and Draco were dotted through the performance.

My favourites included the use of ‘polyjuice potion’ — I still do not understand how it happened on stage — to transporting into the Ministry of Magic in the famous red telephone box, and of course the use of ‘floo power’: Magic as I have never seen it before.

Writing about a show can never do it justice, especially a play embedded with magic from start to finish. Sam Clemmett captures Albus’ attributes perfectly, his sidekick, Scorpius, played by Anthony Boyle is equally impressive, and their friendship is one of the strongest I have ever seen on stage. The golden trio are, of course, perfectly cast and captured. A production that shines with talent.

I laughed, I cried and I wanted to head straight back in for more. This was a most magical experience, brilliantly portrayed on stage: the perfect extension to Harry’s story.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is playing at The Palace Theatre, London.