I couldn't fly to the London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play (availability of tickets is another issue). Also, there's no video recording available (so, I want to yell at J. K. Rowling who disrespected millions of fans across the globe). I just read its script book (special rehearsal edition). Also, I have never seen a professional stage play in my life, so my imagination isn't working regarding several things.

Well, flights could happen using rope, but what about time travel scene?

ALBUS takes the Time-Turner from SCORPIUS - he presses down upon it and the Time-Turner begins to vibrate, and then explodes into a storm of movement.

And with it the stage starts to transform. The two boys look at it.

And there is a giant whoosh of light. A smash of noise.

And time stops. And then it turns over, thinks a bit, and begins spooling backwards, slow at first...

And then it speeds up.

And, spells?

DELPHI unleashes a bolt from her hand.

And, sorting hat?

The SORTING HAT walks through the students who spring into their houses.

It becomes quickly apparent he's approaching ROSE, who is tense as she awaits her fate.

(Sorting Hat was played by a human who also played Hagrid; I just want to know how sorting procedure happened)

Can you please explain how these things exactly happened on stage in case you watched the play in real?

  • 4
    I'm further North and have little interest in coining out £100 to see the am-dram version of what should have been a film
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 11:49
  • 11
    @Valorum * of cheap fanfiction that should've never happened. Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 11:51
  • 3
    Ability to go and see the Cursed Child and inclination to go and see the Cursed Child cannot be read as being the same thing... Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 12:30
  • 2
    Don't yell at JK. First it's not her play. Second, this is the way plays work. They are designed for stage, and the point is for people to come and see them on stage. It's pretty unsurprising that the authors haven't released a video, for the same reason that the movies weren't released on YouTube. Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 16:00
  • 2
    @user931 - Or brought a whole new generation to the theatre like she did to reading.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


I saw it very recently. The Sorting Hat is stylised as a man holding a hat - I say stylised because the hat isn't designed like the film or even book one - it's like a bowler hat. He holds it over people's heads and speaks as the hat. He also has moments where he acts like a narrator.

The 'time turning' effects are very clever. There are clocks around the place and they revolve in a predictable fashion with various sound and light effects - then using clever light effects the entire stage and much of the theatre appears to ripple. It's very impressive. People really "wowed!" audibly the first few times. All of the panelling and arches around the place appear to ripple in a very realistic way. I think the effect is similar to the sort of thing used when at Disneyland and they project light onto their 'castles' as part of their nighttime firework displays. This can also be seen in other events, for example Buckingham Palace has had similar light displays.

Spells are a mixed bag. Several spells are very clever including Harry tidying his desk - all the papers leap into neat piles from the mess they were in. I'm not sure how they achieved this; it definitely looked like more than papers on strings due to the complexity. It matched the flourish of the wand very well. People transform before your eyes when they take Polyjuice - I think the actors used their cloaks combined with holes in the stage so that for a brief period you have two actors standing behind one another within the cloak and as they writhe to 'sell' the effects of the potion, one head goes in and the other almost instantly comes out. It's very impressive - they must be wearing extra-voluminous cloaks at this point and it must take a great deal of rehearsal. These are actors, not Cirque du Soleil contortionists! Wizards and are instantly sucked into the Ministry telephone box entrance which I believe involved quick changes from actors to cloaks with nothing in them suspended like puppets, then sucked in. The speed of this is impressive as there is a seamless change from actor to empty cloak, which must be suspended from the eaves... then sucked in to a different spot. Others like Avada Kedavra are just jets of flame behind the wands.

  • 1
    I don't think you need spoilers here :D Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 17:29
  • 1
    @Gallifreyan - No. Massive overkill
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 17:29
  • Are you sure? Some people will have read the script and may want to see it and not want the experience spoiled.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 17:30
  • 2
    @ThruGog - Anyone reading the question will know that answers will have spoilers for the effects.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 17:30
  • 1
    @user931 - They use comic reminders from the actors to turn them off before each part starts and there is the clear suggestion that they can confiscate them. But people have paid lots of money and waited AGES so I don't think anyone is interested in breaking the rules once in. And there's a lot of promotion to #keepthesecrets
    – ThruGog
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 19:56

Here are how the three scenes you refer to played out.

  • Time Travel (Part 1, Act 2, Scene 6)

    CC Time Turner 1.2.6

  • Rose being sorted (Part 1, Act 1, Scene 4)

    CC sorting 1.1.4

  • Delphi casting Incendio (Part 2, Act 4, Scene 11)

    CC Incendio 2.4.11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.