I finally had a chance to catch the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and is currently being performed at CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. What a spellbinding afternoon! Awarded the Best Play at the 2018 Tony Awards, this play breaks ground in its awe-inspiring technical innovations and magical illusions.
For fans who have read the Harry Potter book series, the play is set 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is the final novel in the main Harry Potter series. In a nutshell, the plot is as follows: Harry is now the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic, while his son Albus is attending his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Albus befriends fellow classmate Scorpius Malfoy and the two boys end up being bullied at Hogwarts for different reasons. Like many fathers and sons, Harry and Albus have a fight – in this case, due to the different experiences each had at Hogwarts – after which Harry and Scorpius borrow the Time-Turner to go back in time to change history.
Overall, the cast was delightful although I did have trouble hearing some of the lines of the younger actors in Act 1. Some of the stand-out performances are as follows:
Thomas Mitchell Barnet as Scorpius Malfoy does lovely inflections with his voice, which emphasize his character’s gentle and kind nature and subtle humour.
Antoinette Robinson brings a strong presence and authority to her role as Hermione Granger.
Steven Sutcliffe as Albus Dumbledore radiates a solemn wisdom, making us appreciate how pivotal his role was as headmaster to young Harry.
Neil Austin’s spectacular lighting design establishes a wizardry atmosphere, particularly dynamic in Act 2 when the writing covers the theatre walls.
Set Designer Christine Jones has created an engaging set that completely transports the audience to Harry Potter‘s world. Dizzying Time-Turners, moving staircases, which the actors use brilliantly to exit the stage and an on-stage water tank are just some of the features that add to the magic.
Even if you’ve never read the Harry Potter books, you will want to see this show due to Jamie Harrison’s incredible illusions and magic tricks: books fly off the shelf, chairs levitate and characters morph into other characters. It’s an extraordinary production that you won’t want to miss!
Please keep in mind that this production contains theatrical haze, fog, open flame and loud noises. The play is not recommended for children under 8 years of age.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre is running until July 2, 2023. CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre is located at 244 Victoria Street. Purchase tickets online or at CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre Box Office.
You may be interested in reading, “Canadian Stage’s Fairview at Berkeley Street Theatre: REVIEW“.