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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Chris Ocker, Staff Writer

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child lies in a strange space where more people have read the script than have seen the actual productions. Because of how huge and worldwide the Harry Potter series is, there are plenty of fans who have not been able to see the show in London. However, with the production finally working its way to the United States, now is the best time for Americans to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Even if you are somebody who has already read the book, there are many reasons to still watch the show on a stage. For one, the performances bring so much to the quality of the story. Some characters like Scorpius and Albus are significantly more understandable and enjoyable when performed rather than just being read. The cast understands the complexity of their characters and handles them very well. There are also some scenes and moments that hit more emotionally when told in this format. However, if you were not a fan of the story to begin with, there is little here that will change your opinion.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one of the most immersive experiences you can find in a theatre. Nearly all the aspects of the show – the lighting, sound design, music, and set – work to create an impressive theatre experience. However, it is the special effects that truly transports the audience into the wizarding world. There are hundreds of set pieces and props that all require special effects in some capacity. Effects that would be the pinnacle of other Broadway shows are brushed off as mere child’s play. It really feels as though magic is happening on stage! Not every effect looks great and there are some that are poorly hidden, but it never distracts from the overall feeling of the show.

By far, the biggest issue regarding Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is its length. The show is split into 2 parts (which have separate tickets, effectively doubling the price of an already expensive show), each of which has 2 acts. Combined together, the show has a run time of over 4 hours. This would not be a huge problem if the story required such a length. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scenes that offer no purpose to the overall plot and feel like fillers. These include pseudo-dance sequences that feel completely out of place, flashbacks that don’t push the story forwards, and special effect showcases that could easily be cut from the show. This show may have warranted 3 acts but 4 acts are completely unnecessary.

If you were one who enjoyed reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you will love watching the story being brought to life, assuming you can get over the mildly-infuriating length. For those who already disliked it, there is little here that can be recommended unless you enjoy theatre. Finally, for those who have avoided reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child all together, there is no better time to experience the aftermath of the Harry Potter saga.

Photo Credit: Nimax Theatres

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