This is a SPOILER FREE article about 'Harry Potter And The Cursed Child'. We do nothing but #KeepTheSecrets around these parts, okay?

If you’re a Potterhead worth your weight in galleons, you’ll know that Harry Potter And The Cursed Child had its official opening night at Melbourne‘s Princess Theatre on Saturday after about a month of preview performances. I mean, if you’re a Potterhead worth your weight in galleons you probably saw the preview or you’ll have tickets already, so not only do you know this but you’re gonna see it with your own eyes at some point soon.

If you don’t have tickets yet, then you need to head to the official site right HERE and bloody well buy some.

Now, I am a Potterhead and I have seen the play twice now, and let me tell you I’m not in the business of spoilers. In fact, JK Rowling herself HATES them, and the whole thing with the play is this hashtag #KeepTheSecrets imploring folks who have watched it to keep the intricate plot details to themselves.

As much as I want to abide by this, I also just want to talk about it because it’s SO GOOD. So I decided to share my thoughts / feelings / emotions with you in a very vague way, using GIFs from the films to illustrate my points. Here’s what you can VERY VAGUELY expect from The Cursed Child:


Obviously this play is absolutely stocked to the brim with nostalgia. As soon as the play opens, you’re transported from your seat at the Princess Theatre straight back to Platform 9 3/4 at London’s Kings Cross station, where a grown-ass Harry Potter and his wife Ginny are sending off their middle child Albus Severus Potter to his very first year at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry. Here, we also see grown up Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as they send their daughter Rose Granger-Weasley off to school as well. While Rose has the intense know-it-all vibes that we saw from her mum at a similar life stage, Albus is… not like Harry at all.

Cursed Child Melbourne

Daddy Issues

Okay so the over-arching theme of this play is some serious father-son angst, both between Harry and Albus and also Draco Malfoy and his son, Scorpius. It’s not surprising really, seeing as though Harry never knew his father James, who died when he was a baby, and then had complicated relationships with male role models like Sirius Black and Albus Dumbledore. Meanwhile Draco’s dad Lucius was just a Death Eating arsehole. In Cursed Child, it becomes very apparent that those problems have followed the two men into adulthood.

Cursed Child Melbourne
One of these Potters is not like the other. Credit: Matt Murphy

Slytherin Shame

We’ve all done the Pottermore sorting hat quiz and then re-taken it with a fake email address because we wanted anything but Slytherin, right? RIGHT? Okay, maybe that’s just me.

Cursed Child Melbourne

Anyway, the plot of the play is also very much tied up in the identity crisis of being a Slytherin, and the Slytherin v Gryffindor rivalry, and trying to be a good wizard in a house filled with very bad ones.

Old Pals

It’s just so nice to see Harry, Ron and Hermione again, as well as other familiar faces from the books, including some super obscure ones, who also pop up in the play. In the interests of #KeepTheSecrets I won’t identify any of them right now, but some of them are so well-loved that the crowd at the show I went to erupted into wild cheers just at the sound of their name. HYPE.

Cursed Child Melbourne
this isn’t a spoiler it’s just a fun GIF okay

Magical Effects

When I heard there was a Harry Potter play being made, I was like “ah cool, so this will be all very character-based and there will be no magic, that’s fine”. But then I saw the Cursed Child and honestly, the way they do the magic – yep, there’s still magic in it so my original assumption was wrong – is nothing short of genius. It’s actually more impressive than in the movie, because that’s all CGI. But the creators of the play actually worked with illusionists to make JK Rowling’s world come to life. Literally in one scene, a lady near me in the audience shouted “But HOW?!” Yes, she’d smashed quite a few rosés, but really she was just saying what we were all thinking.

Cursed Child Melbourne
A wand full of actual magic (I think). Credit: Matt Murphy

Throwback To Books

If you haven’t read all the Harry Potter books or seen all the movies, I highly suggest you do. When I saw this play for the first time I was sitting next to a lovely journo who said she was currently reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire…. the plot of which then got entirely spoilt as Cursed Child unfolded. Make sure all your pre-show reading/viewing is up to date because there’s a LOT of assumed knowledge. They don’t explain anything – this is a play for fans.

Cursed Child Melbourne

It’s Long

Oh yeah. This is a two part play that will take up a sizeable chunk of your life. There’s Part 1 and Part 2, which in total (including an interval in each part) is about 7 hours. Then if you’re seeing both parts in one day, that means you’ll have a two hour break in between. Some people see the two parts on different days, which is probably less of a time commitment. Either way, it’s long as hell, but so enjoyable I promise you won’t even notice that your left butt-cheek fell asleep two “avada kedavras” ago. NOT A SPOILER JUST A JOKE CALM DOWN.

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Image: Matt Murphy