Harry Potter & The Cursed Child – Palace Theater – London UK – February 14th 2024

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Review by Tracy Hansen Photos from

I never thought I’d see this play.  The biggest obstacle being that the only place you can see it is in London, England.  We live in Minnesota, so that’s a big hurdle.  For those immediately saying, no, it’s in other places and is coming to Chicago, you’re only partially correct. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” only plays in its entirety at the Palace Theater in London, England.  For those not sure of what I mean by that, I mean in its full five and a half hour glory.  Five and half hours, you say?  Oh, yes.  The play is five and a half hours long.  Those that see it see part one, have a two hour break, and then go to see the second part.  If you like, you can see the parts on different days or do it all at once like we did.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is a two-part stage play based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. It premiered in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre on July 30, 2016. The play is set nineteen years after the events of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and follows Harry Potter’s son, Albus Severus Potter.

The play is divided into two parts, each intended to be seen in sequence either on the same day or on consecutive evenings. It explores themes of friendship, family, and the consequences of the past on the present. The story introduces new characters alongside familiar ones from the original series, including Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, who are now adults with their own families.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” received critical acclaim for its innovative staging, captivating storyline, and strong performances. It has won numerous awards, including several Olivier Awards and a record-breaking nine Laurence Olivier Awards. The production features elaborate special effects, including spellbinding illusions and magical transformations, bringing the wizarding world to life on stage.

The play has been highly successful in London’s West End, with tickets often sold out well in advance. It has also been staged in other cities around the world, including New York City and Melbourne, Australia, where it has continued to receive praise from audiences and critics alike.

All that being said, the reviews have been divided significantly among Potter fans.  The two of us loved it.  Kyle is a much bigger Harry Potter fan than I am, although I enjoy the series.  The play involves a lot of time travel, which I am a huge fan of.  I’m the last person to sit in a theater for five and a half hours and I can tell you that I was never bored.  The acting was amazing.  I have to say that my favorite part of it was the Dementors.  They were genuinely frightening and I feel it can be tough to achieve that in theater at times.  The sounds they made were so scary and the effect made them so real.
The other renditions of this play are said to have more than ninety minutes cut from it.  I understand the reasoning behind that.  Five and a half hours is a long time, especially when there are a lot of children seeing this play.  Even adults aren’t going to sit that long, nor is it always easy to take that much of a day to dedicate to a show.  However, I am extremely glad I got to see the whole show and am excited to see the cut one as well when it comes here.