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How long is the Broadway show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

The Broadway show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play based on the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling. It originally premiered in London’s West End in 2016 before opening on Broadway in 2018. The play is one of the most popular shows on Broadway right now. Many Harry Potter fans are curious to know the running time of the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In this article, we will provide a quick overview of the show and its runtime.

About Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne, and director John Tiffany. It is set nineteen years after the events of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and follows Harry Potter, now a Ministry of Magic employee, and his younger son Albus Severus Potter.

The story explores the struggles Albus faces living in his famous father’s shadow, as well as a mysterious adventure that Albus and his friend Scorpius Malfoy undertake involving a time-turner and going back in time to revisit parts of the original Harry Potter story. Other fan favorite characters like Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Draco Malfoy, and Professor McGonagall appear as well.

The play premiered in London in July 2016 and premiered on Broadway in April 2018. It won a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards and six Tony Awards. The play continues to run on both Broadway and London’s West End and has become one of the most successful and popular stage plays of all time.

Length of the Broadway Production

The Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is performed over two parts on different days. Each part has a runtime of approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, with a short break in between.

Part 1 Runtime

The running time of Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one intermission. Most performances begin at 2:00 pm and will end around 5:45 pm if running on schedule.

Some key details on the length of Part 1:

– Show begins: 2:00 pm
– Approximately 15 minute intermission around 3:45 pm
– Show ends: Around 5:45 pm
– Total runtime: Around 2 hours 45 minutes

So you can expect Part 1 of the Broadway show to take up your whole afternoon into the early evening. You’ll want to plan and account for about 3 hours at the theater just for Part 1.

Part 2 Runtime

Part 2 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway also has a runtime of about 2 hours and 45 minutes with one intermission. Most performances begin at 7:30 pm and will finish around 10:15 pm if they run on time.

Here are some of the key details on the length and schedule of Part 2:

– Show begins: 7:30 pm
– Approximately 15 minute intermission around 9:15 pm
– Show ends: Around 10:15 pm
– Total runtime: Around 2 hours 45 minutes

So Part 2 will take up a good chunk of your evening. You’ll want to plan for being at the theater for 3 to 3.5 hours to fully take in Part 2.

Total Running Time of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway

Since Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is performed over two parts on two separate days, what is the total running time if you see the full play?

The total runtime of the full Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Broadway play is about 5 and a half hours. Here is a breakdown:

– Part 1 runtime: 2 hours 45 minutes
– Part 2 runtime: 2 hours 45 minutes
– Total runtime for both parts: Approximately 5 hours 30 minutes

So in total, you will need to set aside almost 6 hours over 2 days to see the entire play from start to finish. Most people see Part 1 in the afternoon and Part 2 on the following evening or another day that works for their schedule.

It is a significant time commitment but well worth it for many Harry Potter fans to see the next chapter in the story play out live on stage. The play is broken into two parts to allow audiences time to fully take in the production.

How Long Should You Plan for at the Theater?

While the actual runtime of the play is around 5 and a half hours over two parts, it’s important to account for more time when planning your theater schedule.

You’ll want to allow extra time for:

  • Getting to and from the theater each day
  • Processing tickets
  • Any lines or crowds on arrival
  • Finding your seats
  • Intermissions and breaks between Part 1 and 2
  • Possibly grabbing a snack at concessions

Given all of this, it’s a good idea to plan for 7 to 8 hours at the theater over 2 days to comfortably see the full Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play.

Here is a suggested timeline:

Day 1 (Part 1)

– Arrive at theater: 1:30 pm
– Part 1 starts: 2:00 pm
– Part 1 ends: 5:45 pm
– Leave theater: 6:00 – 6:15 pm
– Total time at theater: About 4.5 hours

Day 2 (Part 2)

– Arrive at theater: 7:00 – 7:15 pm
– Part 2 starts: 7:30 pm
– Part 2 ends: Around 10:15 pm
– Leave theater: 10:30 pm
– Total time at theater: About 3.5 – 4 hours

This allows plenty of time to account for intermissions, transportation, and any unexpected delays. You may be able to get away with slightly less time on one or both days depending on your individual circumstances.

But in general, planning for 7 to 8 total hours at the theater over 2 days is a safe bet to ensure you can fully experience Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway without feeling rushed.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Experience

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Broadway experience seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with the full 5.5 hour runtime:

  • Plan ahead – Make sure to account for transportation time, food, restroom breaks, and any other logistics in your schedule.
  • Arrive early – Give yourself extra time in case of traffic or lines at the theater.
  • Limit distractions – Be mindful of your cell phone use and activities between Part 1 and Part 2 so you can stay engaged in the story.
  • Soak it in – Don’t rush out of the theater; reflect on the themes and characters after each part.
  • Avoid spoilers – Don’t read reviews or social media posts about the play until you’ve seen both parts.
  • Bring snacks/water – Having some light snacks or water can help you recharge between or during parts.
  • Use intermissions – Take time during intermissions and between parts to stretch, use the restroom, etc.

Most importantly, savor the experience! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a unique theater-going experience, so take time to appreciate all aspects of the performance and storytelling across both play parts.

Following the tips above will help you fully immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child during its entire 5+ hour Broadway runtime.

Why Is It Broken Into Two Parts?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an epic story that is quite long as a stage play, clocking in at over 5 hours if performed in full. The creators opted to split the play into two parts that audiences could see over two days.

There were several reasons behind this decision:

  • It allows for a better audience experience – A 5+ hour single play is quite lengthy for audiences to take in all at once. Splitting it prevents fatigue.
  • The story is enhanced – The two parts have their own arcs and climaxes. The structure builds anticipation for Part 2.
  • Scheduling is more flexible – Audiences can more easily make time to see the play over two days rather than commit 5+ hours all at once.
  • It is more accessible – Allowing audiences to see it over two days makes it possible for more people to experience the story.

The creators felt strongly that the story was best told in two parts. J.K. Rowling gave her blessing for this unorthodox format. She agreed the story was so rich it warranted an epic staging.

The two-part structure has proven popular with both critics and audiences. It allows the play to live up to its grand ambitions in scale and storytelling scope.

How the Play Parts Connect

While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has two separate parts, it is written to be one interconnected story. A few things connect the two parts:

  • Continuous story – The story picks up right after Part 1 ends; there is no time jump between parts.
  • Cliffhanger – Part 1 ends at a climactic moment, setting up anticipation for Part 2.
  • Shared elements – Characters, settings, themes carry over between the parts.
  • Cause and effect – Actions in Part 1 influence events in Part 2.

The seamless transition between the parts is helped by seeing them close together, ideally on consecutive days. This maintains momentum in the narrative.

Seeing the parts back-to-back also allows audiences to pick up on subtle connections between elements of the story. The creators intentionally crafted the two parts to emotionally resonate with each other.

While organized as two separate plays, the intention was always for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to be appreciated as one unified story. The two parts combine to create an epic theatrical experience for Harry Potter fans.

Unique Aspects of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

As a stage play production, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has some unique traits and theater elements that enhance the audience experience:

  • Special effects – Elaborate illusions, tricks, and stage mechanisms convey the magic.
  • Elaborate sets – Immersive set pieces bring many recognizable Harry Potter locales to life.
  • Costumes – Intricate costumes help establish characters and settings.
  • Music – An original score builds emotion and magical moments.
  • Stage versatility – Scenes transition seamlessly, changing the stage’s shape and dimensions.

While a familiar story, seeing the wizarding world come alive on stage creates a completely new and enchanting way to experience Harry Potter. It takes full advantage of theater elements to immerse the audience.

The Broadway version of the play went to great lengths to painstakingly recreate the magic of Harry Potter through theatrical craft. Every component works together to tell the story in a creative way you can’t experience from the books or movies.

The commitment to theatricality makes the 5+ hour runtime an exciting journey, even for those who know the Harry Potter world well. No matter how big a Harry Potter fan you are, seeing J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world miraculously brought to life through live theater is an unforgettable experience.

Positive Reviews from Fans & Critics

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has received very positive reviews from both professional critics and Harry Potter fans:

  • 97% of fans recommend the play on TripAdvisor with over 1,500 reviews
  • 5 stars on Ticketmaster based on over 6,000 fan ratings
  • “Electrifying” – New York Times
  • “Thrilling” – Hollywood Reporter
  • “Magical” – Rolling Stone
  • “Transfixing” – Chicago Tribune

Despite some initial skepticism over a Harry Potter play, the production managed to impress fans and critics alike. The spectacle of seeing the wizarding world brought to life combined with the emotional storyline results in a satisfying theatrical experience.

The two parts give the story room to breathe and build anticipation between acts. Most who have attended agree that the 5+ hour runtime flies by due to the engaging theatrical craft.

Between the special effects, music, sets, costumes, and magic, Harry Potter fans find it well worth the time commitment to inhabit the world of Harry and friends once again. The play casts a spellbinding effect that makes the hours melt away.

Record-Breaking Broadway Success

In addition to strong reviews, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has become a record-breaking commercial hit on Broadway:

  • Highest grossing play in Broadway history
  • First play to gross over $2 million in a single week
  • Fastest play to recoup initial investment (under a year)
  • Top 10 longest-running Broadway shows of all time

The play has consistently performed well above its box office projections. It has remained one of the toughest Broadway tickets to secure since first opening.

The combination of the massively popular Harry Potter brand plus outstanding word of mouth has led to unprecedented demand. It has introduced a new generation of fans to the theater, with families and young adult audiences flocking to see the show.

Given the strong ticket sales even years into its run, the Broadway version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child seems poised to continue its record-breaking success for the foreseeable future. It has a level of popularity well beyond a typical hit Broadway play.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an exceptional theatrical experience for fans, with an approximately 5.5 hour runtime over two parts. The epic but intimate staging brings the wizarding world from page to stage through elaborate effects, sets, costumes, and storytelling craft.

The two parts allow audiences to fully immerse themselves in the narrative over two days. Despite the lengthy runtime, most critics and fans find themselves transfixed and emotionally invested throughout both acts.

The show stands out as a Broadway phenomenon, appealing to loyal Harry Potter fans while introducing new audiences to the wonder of imaginative theater. Anyone charmed by the magical world of Hogwarts and beyond will find it well worth their time to experience Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s spellbinding magic on the Broadway stage.