Theatre News

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: How we got here

With just hours to go until the reviews are in, we look at the journey up to the official opening of ”Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

The rumours are true

Potter fans were sent into a frenzy in 2013 when rumours of a stage adaptation being produced began to circulate. Within hours JK Rowling announced that a production was in development, and that she was working with mastermind producer Sonia Friedman. Early rumours suggested the play would be a prequel, detailing Harry's early life as an orphan.

It's actually happening!

Over the course of the next few months and years, details slowly emerged about the play. In June 2015, JK Rowling revealed that This is England writer Jack Thorne had been brought on to write the script, and John Tiffany was to direct. By October, it had been announced the play would not be a prequel, but take place 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was confirmed that the production would open on the West End in July 2016.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 26, 2015

The Palace Theatre has a makeover

By May this year, it finally felt like Harry was on his way. As if it had a portion of Polyjuice Potion, the Palace Theatre was transformed overnight. A boy sat inside a huge nest with wings appeared on the facade. (But what does it mean?!)

A photo posted by WhatsOnStage – Theatre (@whatsonstage) on

We got to meet the Potters

In early summer, we were teased with images of the cast were slowly released over a week. We got our first look at Jamie Parker as adult Harry, Sam Clemmett as his son Albus, and Poppy Miller as Ginny. As the days went on we got a glimpse of the Weasleys and the Malfoys in costume.

— WhatsOnStage (@WhatsOnStage) May 31, 2016


Just before the production began previews, JK Rowling took to Twitter and YouTube to plead fans to #KeepTheSecrets. After performances, audiences are handed badges with the hashtag on in a bid to keep the on-stage surprises, well, surprises.

Previews begin

Finally, on 7 June, previews began. Fans queued up round the block to get to their seats for the first performance of the play. Some had travelled as far as the US and Canada to be the first to know what happens next in the series.

Opening night

From 12.01am on Tuesday night, critics will give their verdict as the embargos are officially lifted and you will be able to hear what they make of the show. On Saturday, there will be gala performances of both parts, with special guests invited to watch.

Click here for our Harry Potter and the Cursed Child guide