When you see it live on stage, you’ll probably have a moment when you’re convinced the magic in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is real. There’s something about this show—returning reimagined to San Francisco’s Curran in January 2022—that leaps past our logic. Even if we’re certain people can’t fly and wands can’t shoot fire, the production can make us wonder if we’re wrong.
But how does that happen? How does a show made by mortals make such a convincing case for the wizarding world?
It helps that there are so many effects. From grand gestures like flying and shapeshifting to quick moments with wands, the magic is a constant part of the story. “That’s how it should be,” says John Skelley, who plays Harry Potter in the San Francisco production. “There should absolutely be loads of magic. We’ve got this spellbinding show about the grown-up Harry who’s joined by the next generation of wizards on a mind-blowing race through time. You can’t make that convincing without reminding us that magic is everywhere.”
Ironically enough, the magic often enchants because it’s so human. The effects are created live on stage, which means they feel more believable than something made by computers. “When people are flying, you can see their robes fluttering in the air,” Skelley says. “When a wand casts a spell, you can feel the heat from the flame. It reminds you that real people are making this happen.”
That’s no accident. “We want the show to feel so authentic that you forget you’re in a theatre,” says Skelley. “We want you to feel like you’re really in the world with these characters. More than anything, we tell this story and create these effects so that people will believe in magic again.”
San Francisco is the only place in the United States (outside of New York City) where you can experience the continuation of Harry’s story and all its magic. The most awarded new play in history returns to the Curran, boldly reimagined as a newly staged, single show magical adventure by its award-winning creative team, in January 2022.. With just one ticket in hand, Tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are on sale now at HarryPotterPlaySF.com.
Photography by: Harry Potter Play SF