Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Cursed Child new poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Written byJack Thorne
Story by
Date premiered30 July 2016 (2016-07-30)
Place premieredPalace Theatre, London
Original languageEnglish
SeriesHarry Potter
Genre
SettingWizarding World
https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play written by Jack Thorne from an original story by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne.[1] Previews of the play began at the Palace Theatre, London, on 7 June 2016 as a two-part play,[2] and it premiered on 30 July 2016. The play opened on Broadway on 21 April 2018 at the Lyric Theatre, with previews starting on 16 March 2018. Its cast was similar to that of the first year in the West End, with returning actors Anthony Boyle, Sam Clemmett, Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller, Jamie Parker, Alex Price, and Paul Thornley.

The story begins nineteen years after the events of the 2007 novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows Harry Potter, now Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic, and his younger son, Albus Severus Potter, who is about to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The play is marketed as the eighth story in the Harry Potter series.

The play received enthusiastic critical reception, although the script was not received well by most Harry Potter fans.[3] At the 2017 Laurence Olivier Awards, the London production received a record-breaking eleven nominations and won another record-breaking nine awards, including Best New Play. At the 2018 Tony Awards, the Broadway production won six awards, including Best Play. The play also set the record for highest all-time weekly ticket sales of any play, grossing over $2.5 million at the Lyric Theatre for the week ending 30 December 2018.[4]

In June 2021, the production team announced that the play would be restaged as a single show for future performances on Broadway beginning in November 2021, as well the San Francisco, Toronto, and Melbourne productions beginning in 2022, with Hamburg following in 2023. This leaves London to be the only location continuing to stage the original two-part play.[5]

Background

In December 2013, it was revealed that a stage play based on the Harry Potter series had been in development for around a year,[6] with the view to bringing it to the stage sometime in 2016.[7] At the time of the announcement, author J. K. Rowling revealed that the play would "explore the previously untold story of Harry's early years as an orphan and outcast".[8] The following May, Rowling began establishing the creative team for the project.[9]

On 26 June 2015,[10] and it was revealed it would receive its world premiere in mid-2016 at London's Palace Theatre.[11] The announcement marked the eighteenth anniversary of the publication of the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,[12] published on 26 June 1997.[13]

On announcing plans for the project, Rowling stated that the play would not be a prequel.[14] In response to queries regarding the choice of a play rather than a new novel, Rowling stated that she "is confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it is the only proper medium for the story".[15] Rowling also assured audiences that the play would contain an entirely new story and would not be a rehashing of previously explored content.[16] On 24 September 2015, Rowling announced that the play had been split into two parts.[17] The parts are designed to be viewed on the same day or consecutively over two evenings.[18][19]

On 23 October 2015, it was confirmed the plays were set nineteen years after the conclusion of the final novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,[20] and would open at London's Palace Theatre in July 2016.[21] The plays principally follow Harry Potter, now Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and his younger son, Albus Severus Potter.[22][23]

Plot

The play is divided in two parts, consisting of two acts each.

Act One

In the opening scene, set during the epilogue of Deathly Hallows in the year 2017, Harry and Ginny Potter send their younger son, Albus Severus, on the Hogwarts Express to begin his first year at Hogwarts. Harry works as the Head of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic, while Ginny is the editor of the sports section of The Daily Prophet. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger also send their daughter Rose on the train. Hermione is now Minister for Magic, while Ron manages Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley alongside his brother George. Aboard the Hogwarts Express, Albus befriends Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry's former nemesis Draco and his wife Astoria. In a break with the tradition of Potters being sorted into Gryffindor, Albus is sorted into Slytherin alongside Scorpius.

Both boys are bullied over the next years, with Albus perceived as failing to live up to his parents, and Scorpius being rumoured to be the son of Lord Voldemort. Astoria passes away due to a fatal disease. Albus and Harry drift apart, with Harry being uncertain on how to help Albus. The summer before his fourth year, Albus gets into a fight with Harry, after being given the latter's baby blanket and a love potion from Ron. During the fight, Harry angrily says that he sometimes wishes Albus was not his son, and Albus spills the potion on the blanket.

Harry obtains a prototype of a more powerful version of the Time-Turner, which allows one to travel into the past and change history. Simultaneously, Harry's scar starts hurting again, raising concerns that Voldemort may be returning. Amos Diggory, who is cared for by his niece Delphi, asks Harry to use the Time-Turner to prevent the death of his son, Cedric. After overhearing Harry refuse to help the Diggorys, Albus is inspired to do so and convinces Scorpius to help him. The two escape from the Hogwarts Express to visit Amos, and they team up with Delphi to steal the Time-Turner from Hermione's office, in the Ministry of Magic, while disguised with Polyjuice Potion.

Act Two

As Cedric's death was the result of him winning the Triwizard Tournament[1] alongside Harry, the boys use the Time-Turner to travel back to the first tournament challenge. They disguise themselves as Durmstrang students to sabotage Cedric and prevent his victory. The plan fails, and the disguises cause Hermione to become suspicious of Viktor Krum, a Durmstrang student, and go to the Yule Ball with Ron instead. As a result, Ron never experiences the jealousy fundamental to his relationship with Hermione, and the two never marry. Ron instead falls in love with Padma Patil at the Ball, and Hermione becomes a frustrated professor at Hogwarts. Albus is now in Gryffindor.

Meanwhile, Harry has nightmares about Voldemort. The centaur Bane tells Harry that a "dark cloud" is around Albus. Convinced that Scorpius is a threat to Albus, Harry tries to separate the boys at Hogwarts by attempting to force Headmistress Minerva McGonagall to keep tabs on Albus using the Marauder's Map.

Albus and Scorpius' friendship is destroyed, but the two reconcile after Albus steals Harry's old Invisibility Cloak from Albus's older brother James Sirius. Harry relents after a conversation with Draco and Ginny. Meanwhile, Albus and Scorpius make another attempt to use the Time-Turner to save Cedric, this time by humiliating him during the Triwizard Tournament's second task. When Scorpius returns to the present day, Albus is not with him. Dolores Umbridge reveals that Harry is dead and Voldemort rules the wizarding world.

Act Three

Scorpius discovers that his actions caused Cedric to join the Death Eaters and kill Neville Longbottom, preventing him from killing Nagini and allowing Voldemort to win the Battle of Hogwarts. With Harry now dead, Albus never existed, while Voldemort was able to consolidate power and transform the Ministry of Magic into a dictatorial regime. In the new timeline, Scorpius became a popular Head Boy and Quidditch star, helping the staff and students torment Muggle-borns. Umbridge became the new Headmistress of Hogwarts and patrols the school with Dementors and a revived Inquisitorial Squad, led by Scorpius.

A dark figure called "The Augurey" leads the Ministry of Magic. With the help and sacrifice of alternate Ron, Hermione, and Severus Snape, Scorpius uses the Time-Turner to prevent his and Albus' past actions, and restore the original timeline. Scorpius reunites with Albus, and the two are found by their parents, as well as Ron and Hermione. Harry scolds Albus, but the two begin to reconcile.

Realizing the danger the Time-Turner poses, Scorpius and Albus attempt to destroy it, when they are joined by Delphi. Scorpius notices Delphi's tattoo of an Augurey and realizes she was in charge of the Ministry of Magic in the alternate timeline. Delphi takes them captive, killing a fellow student in the process, and reveals her intention of restoring the alternate timeline.

After Ron states he saw Albus and Scorpius with Delphi, Harry and Draco confront Amos, and discover Delphi had bewitched him into thinking she was his niece. Delphi takes the boys to the final challenge of the Triwizard Tournament, but Albus and Scorpius foil her plans, and Delphi uses the Time-Turner again to travel farther back in time. She inadvertently takes the boys with her, and destroys the Time-Turner to leave them stranded in time.

Searching Delphi's room, Harry, Draco, Ginny, Hermione and Ron discover hidden writing on the walls claiming Delphi is the daughter of Voldemort, and describing a prophecy that will allow Voldemort to return.

Act Four

Albus and Scorpius discover they have been taken back to the night before Harry's parents were killed. They write an invisible message on Harry's baby blanket, knowing in the present, the blanket would become stained with a love potion and expose the message. The message reads: "Dad.Help.Godric's Hollow.311081."

Meanwhile, Draco reveals the Time-Turner was actually a prototype for a perfected model owned by him. After Harry receives the message from the boys, he and his allies use Draco's Time-Turner to travel back in time to save them and stop Delphi. They deduce she intends to convince Voldemort to abandon his attempt to kill Harry, ensuring his survival.

Harry magically disguises himself as Voldemort to distract Delphi; after a struggle, the group subdues her. Rather than killing Delphi, they decide that she will be given a life sentence in Azkaban Prison. Voldemort appears, oblivious to Harry and the group, and they allow the murder of Harry's parents to play out, unwilling to risk altering the future again.

After returning to the present, Delphi is sent to Azkaban. Albus and Scorpius decide to be more active at Hogwarts, with Scorpius expressing interest in trying out for the Slytherin Quidditch Team and asking Rose out on a date. Harry and Albus visit Cedric's grave, with Harry apologizing for his role in Cedric's death.

One Part Revisions

The one-part version of the play, currently playing in Hamburg, Melbourne, New York, Tokyo, and Toronto, had over an hour and a half of content cut from the show to bring the runtime down to 3 hours and 30 minutes, including a 20-minute intermission. The dream sequences involving Young Harry, the Dursleys and Hagrid have all been removed, as well as the conversations Scorpius has with Polly Chapman and Draco in the Dark World. The St Oswald's location has been replaced with Amos Diggory's private residence, and the character of Lily Potter Jr is now only mentioned in the show.

One major change to the characterisation of Albus and Scorpius is a romantic subplot between the two. Instead of Delphi identifying Albus' weakness of friendship on the Quidditch pitch, as it is written in the two part play, she stares down Scorpius and tauntingly says "love". In the penultimate scene, instead of asking Rose out on a date, Scorpius asks her to be his friend, and she encourages the two boys to pursue their romantic feelings for each other. Finally, as they visit the cemetery, Albus comes out to Harry, saying that Scorpius will always be the most important person in his life, to which Harry responds warmly.

Productions

Production Venue First preview Opening night Closing night
West End (London) Palace Theatre 7 June 2016 (part one), 9 June 2016 (part two) 30 July 2016 Currently running
Broadway (New York) Lyric Theatre 16 March 2018 (part one), 17 March 2018 (part two) 22 April 2018 Currently running
Melbourne Princess Theatre 18 January 2019 (part one), 19 January 2019 (part two) 23 February 2019 Currently running
San Francisco Curran Theatre 23 October 2019 (part one), 24 October 2019 (part two) 1 December 2019 11 September 2022
Hamburg Mehr! Theater 7 February 2020 (part one), 8 February 2020 (part two) 5 December 2021 Currently running
Toronto Ed Mirvish Theatre 31 May 2022 19 June 2022 Currently running
Tokyo TBS Akasaka ACT Theater 16 June 2022 8 July 2022 Currently running

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a two-part play, was written by British playwright Jack Thorne based on an original story by Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne. Some websites listed all three as authors of the script,[24] but by 26 July 2016, the official website for the play[25] and many others[26] were listing Thorne as the sole script writer.

The play is directed by Tiffany[27][28] with choreography by Steven Hoggett,[29] set design by Christine Jones,[30] costume design by Katrina Lindsay,[31] lighting design by Neil Austin,[32] music by Imogen Heap,[33] and sound design by Gareth Fry.[34] In addition, special effects were created by Jeremy Chernick,[35] with illusions by Jamie Harrison, and musical supervision by Martin Lowe.[36]

The producers and Rowling have maintained a campaign called #KeepTheSecrets to ask people who have seen the play not to reveal its major twists. The slogan is printed on the tickets for the play and badges with the slogan are handed out for free during intervals. People buying their tickets online are emailed a video after the play from J.K. Rowling asking them to support the campaign.[37][38][39][40]

West End

Previews at the West End Palace Theatre began on 7 June 2016,[2] with the official opening night for both parts on 30 July,[41] and originally booking until 18 September 2016.[42] Tickets went on sale to preregistered priority bookers on 28 October 2015, with a public sale scheduled to commence on 30 October.[43] In just under 8 hours of priority booking, 175,000 tickets were sold for the world premiere production,[44] with the play's booking period extended to January 2017.[45] On commencement of the public sale booking was extended until 30 April 2017,[46] with a further extension issued the same day to 27 May 2017.[47]

Tickets for the opening performance were priced from £30 up to £130 for a ticket for both parts,[48] although ticket resale agencies were selling seats for up to £3,000.[44] Ticket resale has been banned by the producers, with tickets no longer valid if sold on.[49] In mid-July 2016, the theatre began holding a ticket lottery at 1 pm each Friday, releasing 40 for sale on their website for "some of the best seats" in the theatre for the lowest price, advertised at £20 per part. For example, the "Friday Forty" tickets sold on 29 July 2016 were for performances on 3, 5, 6, and 7 August.[50]

On 20 December 2015, initial casting was announced with Jamie Parker playing Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni playing Hermione Granger and Paul Thornley playing Ron Weasley.[51][52][53] The casting of the dark-skinned Noma Dumezweni as Hermione sparked fervent discussion, to which Rowling responded that Hermione's skin was never specified as white.[54][55] Further notable casting includes Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter, Alex Price as Draco Malfoy, Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter and Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy.[56] The production features an overall cast of 42.[57][58] The renewed cast for 2021 features 43 actresses and actors.[59] On 29 January 2022, previously departed cast member Jonathan Case returned to the show for part two only to reprise the role of Scorpius Malfoy.[60] The show is currently running until 26 February 2023.[61]

Broadway

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre, New York, in July 2019.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Lyric Theatre, New York, in July 2019.

The production began previews on 16 March 2018, officially opening on 22 April at the Lyric Theatre. Clemmett, Boyle, Dumezweni, Miller, Parker, Price and Thornley reprised their roles, from the West End.[62][63] The theater removed 400 seats from the auditorium and moved the entrance to 43rd Street.[64] Tickets initially went on sale on 18 October 2017 for performances from 16 March through 18 November 2018.[65] The New York Times estimates that it is the most expensive nonmusical Broadway play ever, incurring $68 million in opening costs.[66] On 12 March 2020, the show suspended production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[67] On 12 July 2021, it was announced that the show would reopen on 12 November 2021 at the Lyric Theatre. This reopening will be condensed into one show, instead of the previously performed two-part show.[68]

Harry Potter und das verwunschene Kind at the Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt, Hamburg, in February 2020
Harry Potter und das verwunschene Kind at the Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt, Hamburg, in February 2020

Hamburg

Titled Harry Potter und das verwunschene Kind (“Harry Potter and the enchanted child”), the play was to come to the Mehr! Theater in Hamburg permanently from March 15, 2020. On March 13, 2020, it was announced that the premiere of the play would be postponed until October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After being postponed again,[69] the premiere finally took place on December 5, 2021.

The first official pre-sale began on March 25, 2019, after an official trailer was released eleven days before.[70] Newsletter subscribers to the play were able to purchase tickets as early as March 21, 2019. Especially for the play, the Mehr! Theater was extensively renovated from May 2019, the cost of which is said to be around 42 million euros.[71][72] According to the company's own information, around 250,000 tickets for the play had been sold in Hamburg by February 2020.[72]

Princess Theatre, Melbourne, Australia, in July 2022
Princess Theatre, Melbourne, Australia, in July 2022

Melbourne

On 24 October 2017, the Michael Cassel Group announced that it would be producing the Australian premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The preview shows started on 18 January 2019 at the Princess Theatre In Melbourne, and the opening night was on 23 February. The show reportedly has an exclusive two-year residency at the Princess Theatre.[73][74] Presale tickets were released on 2 August 2018, selling more than 200,000 tickets in just four days, before the public sale tickets were released.[75][76]

The 35 original Australian adult cast was revealed on 2 September and includes Gareth Reeves as Harry Potter, Paula Arundell as Hermione Granger, Gyton Grantley as Ron Weasley, Lucy Goleby as Ginny Potter, Eva Rees as Albus Potter, Tom Wren as Draco Malfoy, and William McKenna as Scorpius Malfoy.[77]

On 14 November 2021 it was announced that the final performance of the original two part play will be on 27 March 2022 before it reopens on 4 May 2022 where it will be presented as the newly staged one-show version that premiered in New York on 12 November 2021.[78]

Toronto

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, Ontario in June 2022.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, Ontario in June 2022.

On 22 May 2019, it was announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would make its Canadian premiere at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto.[79] The two-part play was scheduled to open in Fall 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[80]

On 28 August 2021, it was announced that the production will now make its Canadian premiere on 31 May 2022 as the newly staged one-part version.[81][82] The Ed Mirvish Theatre underwent significant renovations, which cost an estimated $5 million.[83] The renovations transformed the lobby areas and the auditorium to immerse the audience once they enter the theatre, and to provide audiences with a "more magical space".[84]

The Canadian cast was announced on 19 October 2021 and included Trevor White as Harry Potter, Gregory Prest as Ron Weasley, Sarah Afful as Hermione Granger, Trish Lindstrom as Ginny Potter, and Brad Hodder as Draco Malfoy. Other lead cast members included Luke Kimball as Albus Potter, Hailey Alexis Lewis as Rose Granger-Weasley, and Thomas Mitchell Barnet as Scorpius Malfoy.[85]

The production began previews on 31 May 2022, with an official opening night on 19 June 2022.[86] The play set a Canadian weekly box office record for a non-musical play, grossing an estimated $2 million in sales.[87]

Tokyo

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater, Tokyo, in November 2022.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater, Tokyo, in November 2022.

On 13 February 2020, it was announced that the production would have its Asian premiere at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater in Tokyo, Japan.[88] Renovations of the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater began in 2021, which was being re-designed to be "a site-specific venue for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", and would re-open in time for the theatre's 70th anniversary[89]

The cast for the Tokyo production was announced on 26 January 2022, and would include multiple actors splitting each of the lead roles.[90] The cast starred Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kanji Ishimaru, and Osamu Mukai sharing the role of Harry Potter, Masahiro Ehara and Hayata Tateyama as Ron Weasley, Aoi Nakabeppu and Seina Sagiri as Hermione Granger, Erika Mabuchi and Yuri Shirahane as Ginny Weasley, and Shinya Matsuda and Syuntaro Miyao as Draco Malfoy. Additionally, the cast included Haru Fujita and Kouhei Fukuyama as Albus Potter, and Soudai Kadota and Rio Saitou as Scorpius Malfoy.[91]

The production began previews on 16 June 2022, and had their opening night on 8 July 2022.[92][93]

Cast and principal roles

Character Original West End Cast[94]
(2016–2017)
Original Broadway Cast[95]
(2018)
Original Melbourne Cast[96][97] Original Hamburg Cast[98] Original San Francisco Cast[99][100] Original Toronto Cast[101][102] Original Tokyo Cast[103][104]
Harry Potter Jamie Parker Gareth Reeves Markus Schöttl John Skelley Trevor White Tatsuya Fujiwara
Kanji Ishimaru
Osamu Mukai
Ron Weasley Paul Thornley Gyton Grantley Sebastian Witt David Abeles Gregory Prest Masahiro Ehara
Hayata Tateyama
Hermione Granger Noma Dumezweni Paula Arundell Jillian Anthony Yanna McIntosh Sarah Afful Aoi Nakabeppu
Seina Sagiri
Ginny Weasley Poppy Miller Lucy Goleby Sarah Schütz Angela Reed Trish Lindstrom Erika Mabuchi
Yuri Shirahane
Draco Malfoy Alex Price Tom Wren Alen Hodzovic Lucas Hall Brad Hodder Shinya Matsuda
Syuntaro Miyao
Albus Severus Potter Sam Clemmett Eva Rees[105] Vincent Lang Benjamin Papac Luke Kimball Haru Fujita
Kouhei Fukuyama
Scorpius Malfoy Anthony Boyle William McKenna Mathias Reiser Jon Steiger Thomas Mitchell Barnet Soudai Kadota
Rio Saitou
Rose Granger-Weasley, Young Hermione Cherrelle Skeete Susan Heyward Manali Datar Madina Frey Folami Williams Hailey Lewis Natsumi Hashimoto
Delphini Diggory Esther Smith Jessie Fisher Madeleine Jones Kristina-Maria Peters Emily Juliette Murphy Sara Farb Sayuri Houi
Karen Iwata
Craig Bowker Jr. Jeremy Ang Jones Joshua DeJesus Slone Sudiro Robin Cadet Irving Dyson Jr. Michael Chiem Yuuma Okabe
Moaning Myrtle, Lily Potter Sr. Annabel Baldwin Lauren Nicole Cipoletti Gillian Cosgriff Glenna Weber Brittany Zeinstra Katie Ryerson Karen Miyama
Polly Chapman Claudia Grant Madeline Weinstein Jessica Vickers Felicitas Bauer Lauren Zakrin
Vernon Dursley Paul Bentall Byron Jennings David Ross Patterson Uwe Serafin Andrew Long Shawn Wright N/A
Severus Snape Kiichi Fukui
Lord Voldemort Masashi Shinohara
Hagrid Chris Jarman Brian Abraham Soren Jensen Hans-Jürgen Helsig Julian Rozzell, Jr. Kaleb Alexander N/A
Sorting Hat Masami Koba
Yann Fredericks Jenet Le Lacheur Jess Barbagallo Connor Sweeney Christian Bock Corey Hedy Bryce Fletch Masato Watanabe
Petunia Dursley Helena Lymbery Kathryn Meisle Hannah Waterman Heidi Jürgens Katherine Leask Fiona Reid N/A
Dolores Umbridge Ikue Sakakibara
Hitomi Takahashi
Madam Hooch Michaela Schmid Theo Allyn Yemie Sonuga Minako Maehigashi
Amos Diggory, Albus Dumbledore Barry McCarthy Edward James Hyland George Henare Fritz Hille Charles Janasz Steven Sutcliffe Kiichi Fukui
Trolley Witch Sandy McDade Geraldine Hughes Debra Lawrance Heidi Jürgens Katherine Leask Raquel Duffy Natsuko Yakumaru
Minerva McGonagall Anita Maria Gramser Shannon Cochran Fiona Reid Ikue Sakakibara
Hitomi Takahashi
Station Master Adam McNamara David Abeles Hayden Spencer Frank Brunet Steve O'Connell Mark Crawford Kunihiro Kawabe
Cedric Diggory, James Sirius Potter, James Potter Sr. Tom Milligan Benjamin Wheelwright David Simes Felix Radcke William Bednar-Carter Lucas Meeuse Kazuma Chiba
Dudley Dursley Jack North Joey LaBrasca Hamish Johnston Nicolai Schwab Tuck Sweeney N/A N/A
Karl Jenkins N/A Toshiaki Komatsu
Viktor Krum Connor Sweeney N/A
Bane Nuno Silva David St. Louis Iopu Auva'a Fernando Spengler Logan James Hall Kaleb Alexander Masami Koba
Young Harry Potter Rudi Goodman
Alfred Jones
Bili Keogh
Ewan Rutherford
Nathaniel Smith
Dylan Standen
Will Coombs
Landon Maas
Alfie Hughes
Ezra Justin
Archie Pitcher
Zakaria Rahhali
Marko Schimanowski Elijah Cooper
Tyler Patrick Hennessy
N/A Masato Watanabe
Lily Luna Potter Zoe Brough
Cristina Fray
Christiana Hutchings
Olivia Bond
Brooklyn Shuck
Sasha Turinui
Ruby Hall
Sienna Conti
Annika Menden Natalia Bingham
Natalie Schroeder
N/A N/A

West End replacements

Broadway replacements

Melbourne replacements

Script publication

Editions

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Special Rehearsal Edition Book Cover.jpg
Special Rehearsal Edition cover
Author
  • Jack Thorne (script & story)
  • J. K. Rowling (story)
  • John Tiffany (story)
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesHarry Potter
GenreFantasy, Drama
Published31 July 2016 (Special Rehearsal Edition)
25 July 2017 (Definitive Collector's Edition)
Publisher
Publication date
31 July 2016
Pages328 (Special Rehearsal Edition)
321 (Definitive Collector's Edition)
ISBN978-1-338-09913-3 (US); 978-0-7515-6535-5 (UK)

Both parts of the stage play's script have been released in print and digital formats as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two.[106][107]

The first edition, the Special Rehearsal Edition, corresponded to the script used in the preview shows and was published on 31 July 2016,[108] the date of Harry's birthday in the series and Rowling's birthday, as well.[109] Since revisions to the script continued after the book was printed, an edited version was released on 25 July 2017, as the "Definitive Collector's Edition".[110] According to CNN, this was the most preordered book of 2016.[111]

Sales

In the United States and Canada, the book sold over 2 million copies in its first two days of release.[112] 847,885 copies were sold during the book's first week of release in the United Kingdom. By June 2017, the book had sold over 4.5 million copies in the United States.[113]

Critical reception

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has received critical acclaim. Some audiences and critics have complimented the casting and performances, while many debate the quality of the piece and how it compares to entries in the main Harry Potter series.

Publications awarding five-star ratings included The Independent, the London Evening Standard, The Stage and WhatsOnStage.com.[114][115][116][117] The Telegraph also gave five, although "there are some quibbles," while The Guardian's Michael Billington awarded four stars.[118][119]

Anthony Boyle's performance as Scorpius Malfoy garnered particular acclaim. WhatsOnStage.com wrote that "Boyle gives a career-making performance," while The Wall Street Journal described him as "the break-out performance".[117][120] Variety's critic, Matt Trueman, agreed, writing, "it's Boyle who really stands out", and both Trueman and Henry Hitchings, in the Evening Standard, noted that his performance was sure to be a fan favourite.[115][121]

Response within the Harry Potter fandom

The response to the play from the Harry Potter fandom was polarizing.[3] Fans responded positively to the play and its characters, with Scorpius Malfoy being particularly popular.[122] Some fans commented that the dialogue between the familiar characters was "spot on",[123] celebrating it as a faithful continuation of the books.[124][125] Others have noted that the play sheds light on some of the relationships between the characters, such as Harry and Dumbledore's.[126] The response had been particularly positive among fans who watched the play on stage.[127]

Some fans, however, said the story seemed more "like a work of fan fiction" and said that it diverged from previously established rules of the universe, criticising the script's characterisation.[128][129][130] Some also took issue with the style and plot of the script, complaining that the Time-Turner storylines had already been used, as had Cedric Diggory's death, and that the writers were rehashing old storylines and over-played tropes of the fantasy/sci-fi genre.[131][132]

Queerbaiting accusations

The stage play's "ambiguously gay" portrayal of the male friendship between Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy has been criticized as an example of "queerbaiting",[133][134] with director John Tiffany stating his belief that it "would not [have] been appropriate" for The Cursed Child to directly address the characters' sexualities.[135][136][137]

Awards and nominations

Original West End production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2016 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Play Won
Best Director John Tiffany Nominated
Best Design Christine Jones Nominated
Emerging Talent Award Anthony Boyle Nominated
Critics' Circle Theatre Award Best Director John Tiffany Won
Best Designer Christine Jones Won
Most Promising Newcomer Anthony Boyle Won
2017 WhatsOnStage Award Best New Play Won
Best Actor in a Play Jamie Parker Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Play Anthony Boyle Won
Paul Thornley Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Play Poppy Miller Nominated
Noma Dumezweni Won
Best Direction John Tiffany Won
Best Costume Design Katrina Lindsay Nominated
Best Set Design Christine Jones Won
Best Lighting Design Neil Austin Won
Best Video Design Finn Ross and Ash Woodward Won
Laurence Olivier Award Best New Play Won
Best Director John Tiffany Won
Best Actor Jamie Parker Won
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Noma Dumezweni Won
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Anthony Boyle Won
Best Costume Design Katrina Lindsay Won
Best Set Design Christine Jones Won
Best Sound Design Gareth Fry Won
Best Lighting Design Neil Austin Won
Best Theatre Choreographer Steven Hoggett Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Music Imogen Heap Nominated
2018 WhatsOnStage Award Best West End Show Won
Best Show Poster Won

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2018 Tony Awards Best Play Won [138][139]
Best Actor in a Play Jamie Parker Nominated
Best Featured Actor in a Play Anthony Boyle Nominated
Best Featured Actress in a Play Noma Dumezweni Nominated
Best Direction of a Play John Tiffany Won
Best Choreography Steven Hoggett Nominated
Best Scenic Design in a Play Christine Jones Won
Best Costume Design in a Play Katrina Lindsay Won
Best Lighting Design in a Play Neil Austin Won
Best Sound Design in a Play Gareth Fry Won
Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Anthony Boyle Nominated [140]
Outstanding Director of a Play John Tiffany Won
Outstanding Music in a Play Imogen Heap Won
Outstanding Costume Design for a Play Katrina Lindsay Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play Neil Austin Won
Outstanding Projection Design Finn Ross and Ash Woodward Won
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play Gareth Fry Won
Outstanding Wig and Hair Design Carole Hancock Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding New Broadway Play Won [141]
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Anthony Boyle Nominated
Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway) Imogen Heap Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Play John Tiffany Won
Outstanding Choreographer Steven Hoggett Nominated
Outstanding Scenic Design (Play or Musical) Christine Jones Won
Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical) Katrina Lindsay Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) Neil Austin Won
Outstanding Projection Design (Play or Musical) Finn Ross and Ash Woodward Won
Outstanding Sound Design (Play or Musical) Gareth Fry Won
Drama League Awards Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play Won [142]
Distinguished Performance Award Anthony Boyle Nominated
Noma Dumezweni Nominated
2020 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Imogen Heap (producer & composer) Nominated [143]

Original Melbourne production

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2019 Helpmann Awards Best Play Nominated [144]
Best Male Actor in a Play William McKenna Nominated
Best Female Actor in a Play Paula Arundell Nominated
Best Original Score Imogen Heap Nominated
Best Scenic Design Christine Jones Nominated
Best Costume Design Katrina Lindsay Nominated
Best Lighting Design Neil Austin Won
Best Sound Design Gareth Fry Nominated

Original Toronto production

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2022 Dora Awards Outstanding General Theatre Production Nominated [145]
Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role Gregory Prest Nominated
Sarah Afful Nominated
Outstanding Direction John Tiffany Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design/Composition Imogen Heap and Gareth Fry Nominated
Outstanding Scenic/Projection Design Christine Jones, Finn Ross and Ash J. Woodward Nominated
Outsanding Costume Design Katrina Lindsay Nominated
Oustanding Lighting Design Neil Austin Won

Possible film adaptation

In July 2016, Warner Bros. Entertainment applied to purchase the rights to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, leading to speculation that the stage play was going to become a film, despite earlier claims, most notably from Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling, that a film adaptation was not being made.[146][147]

In November 2021, Chris Columbus, who previously directed the first two installments of the Harry Potter film series, expressed interest in directing a film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with the intent of having the main cast members reprise their roles.[148][149][150][151] When The New York Times inquired Daniel Radcliffe if he would be ready to return to his role as Harry Potter, he replied that he was not interested in it at the moment, but would not deny the possibility of returning sometime in the future.[152][153]

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