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Preview Roundup: HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD in Previews!

Previews for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child just began last night, with opening performances of Part One and Part Two set to take place on Saturday July 30, but that hasn't stopped London reviewers from writing about the show.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany. It will receive its world premiere in London's West End at the Palace Theatre this summer and is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.

With opening night more than a month away, it's still early for a full set of reviews, but check out what some prominent publications have had to say so far...

Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times: It is jarring and exciting to be seeing characters who seemed to be put to rest, suspended forever in place and time, suddenly reanimated. At the same time, the three main characters remained true to their younger selves. Ron still provides comic relief, Hermione remains cerebral and slightly bossy and Harry tries as hard as he can but doesn't quite live up to his own expectations. It is odd to see it all unfold onstage when we are so used to approaching the story through Ms. Rowling's books - reading them was a rite of passage for so many children (O.K., and adults) - or through the movies. But the audience at the Palace Theater here cannot be more thrilled or more appreciative or more ready to be caught up in the spirit of the undertaking.

Hannah Furness, Telegraph: Those who praised the diverse casting were richly rewarded, with around a quarter of the cast and several key characters from ethnic minority backgrounds. As the lights went down the audience burst into spontaneous applause, whooping with excitement. A standing ovation to finish was a foregone conclusion. The storyline, a hymn to friendship and teenage misfits, contains enough twists to please the most knowledgable of fans, who remained resolutely tight-lipped about the plot as they spilled onto the pavement in raptures afterwards. Any fears that the world of Hogwarts on stage would struggle to compete with the multi-million dollar special effects of film were quickly kicked into touch.

Clare Fitzsimons, The Mirror: Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley have the characters we know and love so well down to a t. But it's the children who steal the show along with all the drama of the books and films, a lot of laughs and some fantastic special effects. JK Rowling has made sure the audience will be back for part two with a cliffhanger ending to the first part. And if the second is anywhere near as good as the first there can be no other verdict. The child may be cursed but this show most definitely isn't.



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