Re-review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Palace Theatre

Just the three years between visits to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre and its impact is no less

“So you’re telling me that the whole of history rests on . . . Neville Longbottom? This is pretty wild”

It’s over three years since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened at the Palace Theatre, in which time it has won pretty much every award going both here and on Broadway and gone through three major cast changes. So I thought it was high time I paid a return visit and hopefully get a better view than last time (when we saw the two-parter from the very back row of the balcony, a veritable steal at £10 a pop).

And I have to say its holding up really rather well, the storytelling feeling less complex than I’d initially feared. All sorts of details about the plot came back to me while watching but there was still gentle surprise aplenty, not least from being able to see so much more detail from the rear stalls. And there’s always the great thrill of anticipation in knowing what’s to come in certain key moments… #keepthesecrets.

Jamie Ballard, Michelle Gayle (her sweetness really is my weakness) and Thomas Aldridge were all good fun as the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron. But the show really belongs to Dominic Short and a hilarious Jonathan Case as young’uns Albus and Scorpius, whose sweetly-drawn relationship forms the bedrock of its emotional heart (even if it still does feel a little queer-baity) (and there’s something depressingly predictable about how Rose is the one to get sidelined as opposed to creating a new trio).

Jamie Harrison’s illusion work remains thrillingly good, the multitudes of Christine Jones’ set design are as impressive as ever and Steven Hoggett’s movement captures much of the essence of your archetypal John Tiffany production, imbued with a graceful elegance it is great to see on a West End stage. On this evidence, you wouldn’t put it past The Cursed Child to last at least another three years.

Running time: Part 1 – 2 hours 45 minutes (with interval), Part 2 – 2 hours 35 minutes (with interval),
Photos: Manuel Harlan
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two is booking at the Palace Theatre until 2nd August 2020

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