Everything you need to know about 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' on Broadway
Learn all the details of the Harry Potter Broadway show: a unique stage play continuing the beloved character's story, which has brought the world under its spell.
Lights up — or should we say "lumos" — on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! As the eighth installment in the Harry Potter series, this stage play continues the stories of familiar book characters and takes audiences through an all-new adventure in J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World. A new generation of wizards collides with the classic Golden Trio of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.
The action revolves around Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, the respective sons of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, who become fast friends at Hogwarts and travel through time to prove their mettle as wizards. But in trying to reverse some past wrongs, they almost change the face of the Wizarding World entirely. Amid this new story, co-conceived by Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, are plenty of fan-favorite characters from the books and movies that pop up throughout the play.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has gone on quite the adventure of its own: after premiering as a two-part, five-hour-total show in London in 2016 and New York in 2018, the Broadway iteration has been condensed into a one-part theatrical experience. But all the enchanting thrills, special effects, and beloved characters remain. If you plan on going to the Lyric Theatre for the show — whether by subway, car, or Portkey — brush up on all things Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with this guide. Consider it your (Marauder's) map to help you navigate the Wizarding World on Broadway.
What is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child about?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child kicks off right where the final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ended: with Harry and Ginny Potter sending their second son, Albus Severus, to Hogwarts for the first time. Everyone thinks they'll know what to expect from Albus — namely, a carbon copy of his father. But Albus ends up quite the opposite.
He makes fast friends with Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Harry's longtime rival, Draco. And rather than joining the Gryffindor house at Hogwarts, he is sorted into Slytherin alongside Scorpius. Over the next few years, Albus is bullied because of his "failure" to emulate Harry's greatness, and Albus becomes resentful. Harry struggles to support his son, and the two grow apart. Scorpius is also bullied due to untrue rumors that he's the son of the slain Lord Voldemort.
One day, Harry is approached by Amos Diggory, the father of a boy that Voldemort killed during Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts. He asks Harry to use a device called a Time-Turner to go back and prevent his son's death. Harry refuses. Overhearing, Albus and Scorpius agree to the mission; Albus hopes to prove himself to his father and peers, and Scorpius wants to disprove his evilness. But in messing around with time and changing the past, they witness alternate, darker outcomes for the fate of the Wizarding World that the boys, along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, thought could never happen again.
Where is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playing?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently running on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre. The Lyric Theatre is located at 214 W 43rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Previously, the Lyric Theatre was called the Foxwoods Theatre, and it was renamed in 2016. Between 2017 and 2018, the Lyric underwent a total renovation specifically to host Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, adding plenty of Harry Potter-themed decor.
How long is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
The running time of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is 3 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Broadway's longest play. The show was originally a two-part play, with Parts 1 and 2 being performed as two separate two-and-a-half-hour shows. Audiences would typically see the parts either on the same day (with a matinee and evening performance back to back) or on two nights in a row. However, when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reopened after the pandemic, the play was shortened into one part.
What days is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playing?
On Broadway, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child typically plays eight performances a week at the Lyric Theatre. The shows typically run Tuesday to Sunday, with two performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and no performances on Mondays. For the most up-to-date weekly performance schedule, please visit the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child page.
When did Harry Potter and the Cursed Child premiere?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in London's West End on July 30, 2016. (Preview performances began earlier, on June 7.) But the play had already been in the works for nearly four years at that point. Harry Potter fans, with no more books or films left to look forward to, were eager to see more of the story on stage.
- 2013: J. K. Rowling announced that a Harry Potter play was in the works. At the time, she said the play would focus on "Harry's early years as an orphan and outcast." The premise later changed to become a sequel to the published Harry Potter stories.
- 2015: In June, the play officially announces its London premiere under the name Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In October, it was confirmed that the play would be set 19 years after the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- 2016: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has its world premiere at London's Palace Theatre in the West End.
- 2018: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens on Broadway at the newly renovated Lyric Theatre. Like its West End counterpart, the Broadway production received critical acclaim and multiple awards.
- 2021: After the pandemic, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reopens on Broadway as a one-part production, rather than its original two. The two-part version is still playing in London and Australia.
Who wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
Jack Thorne wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on an original story by Thorne, John Tiffany (who also directs), and J. K. Rowling. All three have sometimes been listed as authors, but Thorne is listed on the show's official website as the sole playwright.
In addition, although Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is not a musical, the show does have a composer. Two-time Grammy Award winner Imogen Heap composed and wrote the Grammy-nominated score, and the music is heard all throughout the production.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child characters
The main characters of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are brand-new and nearly so: Albus Potter, who was introduced at the very end of the last Harry Potter novel, and Scorpius Malfoy. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child also features plenty of characters that audiences know and love from J. K. Rowling's book series. In addition to the major characters like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, plenty of other minor characters pop up in the play. Here are the main characters in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- Albus Severus Potter: The second son of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. The play starts when they are sending him to Hogwarts for the first time. He becomes close friends with Scorpius Malfoy, and the main action of the play revolves around the two going on a time-traveling adventure together. Albus also has a strained relationship with Harry, since he feels pressure to live up to his parents' fame and glory and has been sorted into the Slytherin house, breaking the Potter family tradition of being Gryffindors.
- Scorpius Malfoy: The son of Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass. Scorpius is the opposite of his father: He is nerdy and kind, rather than snobbish. Scorpius gets bullied at Hogwarts due to unfounded rumors that his real father is Voldemort, and Albus remains his closest — and often only — friend.
- Harry Potter: The central character, who in the books was the "Chosen One" to defeat the dark wizard Voldemort and save the Wizarding World. Now an adult with a job as the Head of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic government agency, he wants to live a fairly quiet, normal adult life with his family. However, when Albus and Scorpius get lost in time, he must go on one more quest to save them, facing some of his old demons in the process. He struggles with fatherhood and has difficulty connecting with Albus.
- Hermione Granger: One of Harry's best friends and Ron's wife. Ever ambitious and extremely intelligent, she has become the Minister for Magic: the leader of the Wizarding World.
- Ron Weasley: One of Harry's best friends and Hermione's husband. He's loyal and fun-loving. As an adult, he runs the joke shop Weasley's Wizard Wheezes alongside his older brother George.
- Ginny Weasley: Ron's sister and Harry's wife. Ginny accompanies Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco on their adventures in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and she encourages Harry to improve his relationship with Albus.
- Rose Granger-Weasley: The daughter of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, who's the same age as her cousin Albus. Like her mother, she's smart, bold, and ambitious. Scorpius has a crush on her.
- Delphi Diggory: The niece and caretaker of Amos Diggory. When Amos asks Albus and Scorpius to go back in time to save his son, Delphi accompanies Albus and Scorpius on their journey.
What awards has Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was an awards darling and record-breaker all over the world. In London, Cursed Child set new records for both the number of nominations and wins a West End play has ever received. And in 2018, after winning six Tony Awards including Best Play, the New York production set a record for the highest ticket sales a Broadway play has ever had in a single week. Below are just some of the major awards Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has won worldwide.
- Tony Awards: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child received 10 Tony Award nominations at the 2018 ceremony. The show won six: Best Play, Best Direction of a Play, and awards for Best Scenic, Costume, Lighting, and Sound Design of a Play.
- Drama Desk Awards: The Broadway production won five awards of eight nominations, all in creative categories. John Tiffany won for his direction, Imogen Heap won for her score, and the show's lighting, sound, and projection designers all got awards.
- Olivier Awards: With 9 wins out of 12 nominations, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child became the most-nominated and most-awarded play in West End history. The show won Best New Play and swept the design categories — Best Costume, Set, Sound, and Lighting Design — and multiple company members won individual awards. John Tiffany won Best Director, Jamie Parker won Best Actor for playing Harry, Noma Dumezweni won Best Supporting Actress for playing Hermione, and Anthony Boyle won Best Supporting Actor for playing Scorpius.
- WhatsOnStage Awards: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took home many of the same WhatsOnStage Awards as Olivier Awards for the London production. Out of 11 nominations, the show won 8 awards including Best New Play, acting nods for Parker, Dumezweni, and Boyle, and multiple design and directing awards.
- Grammy Awards: In a rare feat for a play, Imogen Heap's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child score from the Broadway production was nominated for the Best Musical Theater Album Grammy Award.
- Helpmann Awards: The Melbourne production was nominated for eight Australian Helpmann Awards, with Neil Austin winning for Best Lighting Design.
Major productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Like the Harry Potter novels before it, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has found massive worldwide success. Since premiering in London's West End, the show has moved to America, Australia, and more. Putting on a production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is no easy feat, since the sets and effects are intricate, but theatres around the world have made the magic happen. All of the below productions are still running as of this article's publication, years after their premieres.
- London: The world-premiere production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took place at the Palace Theatre in London's West End in 2016.
- New York: Following acclaim in London, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child moved to Broadway in 2018 and found equal success there. Much of the original West End cast traveled across the pond to reprise their roles for the Broadway premiere.
- Melbourne: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. The production featured a brand-new Australian cast.
- San Francisco: Also in 2019, a production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began at San Francisco's Curran Theatre with an all-new cast.
Fun facts about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
There's always something new to discover about the Wizarding World — but don't worry, none of the facts below will spoil any of the production's magical secrets. Here's some facts you should know about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- The Lyric Theatre was totally renovated specifically for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There's now carpeting with "HP" patterned on it, Patronuses painted on the walls, and a full Harry Potter gift shop where you can buy wands, Hogwarts house merch, and more.
- Chris Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter films, has expressed interest in directing a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child film adaptation with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint playing the Golden Trio as adults. No concrete plans for such a film have been confirmed — but you never know.
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reveals one of Harry Potter's greatest fears (this isn't a spoiler). One might think it's something like the soul-sucking Dementors or the return of Voldemort — but it's pigeons.
- The play is known for its unbelieveable special effects, and almost no one knows how they're done. But somehow, the show's team has made it possible to undergo Transfiguration into another person, make a bookshelf come to life and attack, and have smoke come out of an actor's ears, just as believably as in the movies.
- The original London production had people with super-specific job titles on the creative team. Specific people were in charge of things like knitting, tattoos, and "costume prop body paddings."
- The premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the release of the script in bookstores corresponded with milestones from the original novel series. The play's first London previews in 2016 overlapped with the 18th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The opening night happened on July 30, the eve of Harry Potter's birthday. The book release also took place at midnight that day.
How to get Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets
Longtime Potterheads and casual Harry Potter fans alike will be spellbound by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. As one of few fantasy shows on Broadway, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child offers a unique theatrical experience with special effects you won't see anywhere else. People often talk about "theatrical magic," and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child exemplifies that in its truest form. You don't need to cast an "accio" spell to get tickets to come to you — you can get them right here.