“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Celebrates Opening Gala with Red Carpet!

Although preview performances of the play began last month, today, July 30, marks the official opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on London’s West End! To celebrate, a red carpet was rolled out in front of the Palace Theatre, where guests included Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the author of Harry Potter herself, J.K. Rowling.

The London Evening Standard covered the event, at which J.K. Rowling expressed her delight that fans had been following her wishes to #KeepTheSecrets about the play:

They’ve been amazing, they’ve been incredible, and you know what it is? It is the most extraordinary fandom, so I’m kind of not surprised they didn’t want to spoil it for each other, but I’m so happy we got here without ruining it.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who admitted that he is a “big fan” of the Harry Potter series, thanked J.K. Rowling for ensuring that the play’s premiere would be in London:

What’s important is that the world premiere is here in London, and we should be really proud.

John Tiffany, the director of Cursed Child, echoed Rowling’s thoughts on #KeepTheSecrets, comparing plot spoilers with opening Christmas presents in November, asking,

Why would you do that?

The opening gala of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes hours before the midnight release of the script book for the play, though it looks as though fans who aren’t in London won’t have to worry. When asked if the play would be heading to Broadway, J.K. Rowling responded,

I’d love it to go wider than that. I’d like as many Potter fans to see it as possible.

In an interview with Deadline, Colin Callender, one of the play’s producers, also hinted at a possible transfer to Broadway:

Obviously we hope to come to Broadway. And there are Potter fans all over, so where else we go and when and how, I genuinely don’t know yet. But hopefully it will have a life and will be able to seen by people all over the world. Obviously that’s tomorrow’s conversation and not today’s.

Callender was also asked about the possibility of “live broadcasts of the play into cinemas.” He explained,

No, there have been absolutely no discussions about that whatsoever, and now that you’ve seen it you’ll know that part of the power of this is the experience of seeing it live, and seeing the magic performed live. Sitting there thinking, How on Earth did they do that? Part of the conversation in the intervals has been people debating how a sleight-of-hand trick was pulled off, and that’s part of the fun of the show. Not even my kids know the secrets. I haven’t even told them, and they’ve seen it 10 times already.

You can watch a video of J.K. Rowling on the red carpet below:

 

 

Would you see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway? Are you excited to read the script? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

  • No dobby W

    Rowling, thought people missed the ‘snake-clown’ connection. No, we did not miss it or her sobbing back story of her life, and that snake ring on her finger. Yeah, we saw the shoes. lol. Now, a new story with a thrill of twists and fun for all to read that she didn’t write. -To be continued.

  • Grace Chen

    I’m sure that the actual play and the actors are brilliant, but the script was such a huge let down for me. I absolutely hated it. Everything was so wrong and out-of-character and unrealistic. So incredibly unrealistic. I kept asking myself, “Is this a joke?! What am I reading?!” I am absolutely flabbergasted that JKR allowed such a ridiculous plot to happen. I do not consider anything in this play as canon.

    • Iain Walker

      The script is simply the jumping off point for the performance, and needs to be read as such. Anyone expecting the immersive, world-building experience of the novels is going to find it very sparse, and some of the story-telling devices that work on stage wouldn’t work in a more realistic medium, and so may seem odd and contrived to someone not used to them. I thought that as a script it was fine – witty and fast-moving, and allows you to engage with the proceedings well enough to envisage the action clearly.

      On the other hand, it’s also true that the story largely retreads old ground, rather than offering anything new. Some of the characterisation choices do seem off – why, for instance, is Ron so bumbling in the alternate timelines? There are plot holes, e.g., the big twist of Delphi’s identity does rather depend on something that Draco (for one) would surely have noticed – and mentioned. And there are missed opportunities, such as Astoria Malfoy, who sounds as if she could have been a fantastic character, if only we’d got to meet her, instead of being relegated to an off-stage tragic backstory device.

      As a self-contained, “based upon the Harry Potter books” story it works fine. As an addition to the canonical series, it works less well. From a fanfic writing perspective, I think I may decide to treat it as canonically “optional”.