It’s Official: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Is Every Bit As Magical As You Dreamed It Would Be

The reviews are in — and Cursed Child is a magical ‘triumph’

We know Harry Potter fans are already in love with Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling, and John Tiffany’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — those who are lucky enough to see it, at least — but what about critics?

It’s not like Cursed Child needs to dazzle critics; tickets are already sold out until next May. Harry Potter’s legacy is indomitable. Now, it seems that Cursed Child has fans and critics under its spell. Reviews for the London production — which officially opens at the Palace Theatre on Saturday — are in, and the spellbinding spectacle is already being hailed as a “triumph.”

This is not only splendid news for Harry Potter fans — after all, we want the eighth story in Rowling’s magical saga to be on par with the novels that enchanted an entire generation of readers — but it’s also good news for the play’s prospects abroad. Given the overwhelmingly positive critical response, and its success at the box office, it’s only a matter of time before a Broadway production of Cursed Child is announced. (Take all of my Muggle money now.)

If you want to know what the critics are saying, we’ve rounded up a sampling of reviews that should give you a better idea of the magic that awaits in Cursed Child:

  • Warner Bros.

    “Like the novels that preceded it, The Cursed Child is stuffed with arcana-filled plots that defy diagrams and baldly wrought sentimental life lessons, along with anguished dives into the earnest, tortured solipsism of adolescence. By rights, such a combination should try the patience of any grown-up. But like Ms. Rowling’s books, the play vanquishes resistance ... This production captures Ms. Rowling’s sensibility even more persuasively than did the special-effects-driven films.”

  • Warner Bros.

    “British theatre hasn’t known anything like it for decades and I haven't seen anything directly comparable in all my reviewing days ... It's a triumph. Not an unqualified one — there are some quibbles — but in all key respects, it grips, it stirs, it delights ... There’s a universal, relatable emotional core to the show. How do we grow up? How do we talk to our closest family members? How do we heal deep-rooted psychological damage?”

  • “I am happy to divulge that John Tiffany, as director of this pair of two-and-a-half-hour plays, has masterminded a thrilling theatrical spectacle ... If [writer] Thorne has added yet another ingredient to an already complicated brew it is that of post-Freudian guilt: much of the story revolves around the adult Harry’s angst at his past actions and Albus’s need to prevail over his father. But, just as things start to get a bit heavy, Thorne adds a touch of leavening humour and reminds us that a smile is as good as a myth.”

  • WB

    “Well, Harry Potter fans, you will be glad to know that J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany have created a theatre production of immense wonder, one that is highly referential to Harry Potter stories past and is, above all, truly magical ... Past characters, of whom there are many, make appearances frequently, eliciting applause from the eager audience, while the next generation of Potters and Granger-Weasleys are a breath of fresh air to the series. As Scorpius Malfoy, the play's standout character, says toward the end of the production, ‘I'm quivering with geekiness,’ something almost everyone in the auditorium is undoubtedly doing.”

  • Warner Bros.

    “It’s the friendship of two bullied boys bound together, and it’s a beautiful, tender thing. The script by Jack Thorne (Skins, Shameless) recognizes that rejection breeds resentment, and outsiders stew into outcasts. No one’s born a villain, nor sees themselves as such, and where the books gave us stock baddies, Cursed Child fleshes them out ... The show is far better when it moves things on. As adults, Ron and Hermione are the same as ever. Noma Dumezweni adds a cool authority to the latter’s racing mind, and Paul Thornley finds humor in the old Weasley haplessness.”

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has pulled off a transfiguration challenge worthy of Professor McGonagall: Converting the visually arresting world of Harry Potter into stage play ... The playwrights have stated the reason for the two-part format is the ‘epic nature’ of the story, and that’s not an exaggerated description. There’s enough plot in Cursed Child (with 42 actors playing a variety of characters) to frame an 800-page eighth Potter novel ... Cursed Child feels more like loyal adaption of Rowling's writing than the films ... The play’s most unexpected edition is Scopious, played all slumped and uncertain by [Anthony] Boyle; he’s an entirely new character who’s fully realized and compelling.”