Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Princess Theatre) - 3 hours 10 minutes, plus 20 minute interval
The story and staging remain just as utterly absorbing and intoxicating in the new, one part Harry Potter and The Cursed Child as when it was divided into two.
All the key “magic” components – and I assure you they are extraordinary – have been retained.
Photos by Michelle Grace Hunder
The stage show moves along at a cracking pace as Harry’s son Albus and the latter’s best friend Scorpius Malfoy are taken on a wild ride, during which the shadow of Voldemort looms large.
The pair is in a desperate struggle to right a wrong, which has the whole wizarding world on a knife edge.
The script is a cracker (the story arc hasn’t changed) and its execution is exemplary.
It transports you deep into the wondrous vision of JK Rowling et al.
The story starts 19 years after the events of the 2007 novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
You can readily follow the narrative even with only a passing knowledge of the Potter universe.
Mind you, I dare say the greater your understanding of the books and movies, the more you will appreciate what is on offer.
The special effects are a highlight of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and there are so many, including ghostly apparitions, secret panels and “surprises” in the body of the theatre.
That is not to overlook the impressive way the creatives have orchestrated time travel, where you swear the set is shaking, enhanced by tremor-like sound.
That – the sound – and mood lighting undoubtedly elevate the spectacle.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is magnificently choreographed.
There is a great deal going on all the time, so a lot can go wrong.
But the performers are so well practiced and drilled that they make everything look natural and effortless.
Props (especially a couple of flights of “heavy set” stairs) are wheeled in and out in seconds.
Characters – and, on occasion, their suitcases – intersect fluidly and frequently.
No awkwardness, no collisions, no missing cues.
The costuming – especially the dark, elegant attire and black, flowing capes of the evil doers – add to the aura of dread that permeates the story arc.
Inventive set designs transport us to the Potterverse with ease.
The cast – particularly those doing the heavy lifting – deserves universal praise and acclamation.
Among the standout performers are those “gifted” some of the showiest roles.
I was impressed by the nuanced, self-deprecating performance of Nyx Calder as Scorpius Malfoy.
Lachlan Woods makes an immediate impact as his father, the no nonsense Draco, carrying a stern visage throughout.
Ben Walter deftly navigates the story arc as Albus Potter, as does Gareth Reeves, who excels as the less than perfect Harry Potter.
Also impactful is David Ross Paterson as the severe Hogwarts’ Potions Professor Serevus Snape, when he first appears opposite Scorpius Malfoy.
To much mirth, Jessica Vickers gives Moaning Myrtle a good working over in her limited time on stage and makes it count.
To be fair, I should be reeling off the names of all 30 actors on stage, for they dazzle.
In short, Harry Potter has lost none of its clout or cachet, rather the play promises to go on and on, and capture even more fans.
It has the words “must see” stamped all over it for very good reason.
It is a great show, brilliantly written by Jack Thorne from a story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne and John Tiffany, skilfully orchestrated and masterfully directed by Tiffany.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is on at the Princess Theatre.