(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 7/26.)

“Keep the Secrets” is the injunction on badges handed out as we leave the theatre. It’s a motto that makes life hard for us hacks, but I am happy to divulge that John Tiffany, as director of this pair of two-and-a-half-hour plays, has masterminded a thrilling theatrical spectacle.

It is also one that will make much more sense to hardened Potterheads than to anyone who is not a member of the global cult. What we have is a brand new work by Jack Thorne based on an original story by himself, Tiffany and JK Rowling: a venture that I approached in a state of benign semi-innocence. I’ve read one of the seven Potter books and seen a couple of the eight films, and enjoyed them without becoming an addict. At times during the day, I felt as if I had wandered into Henry VI Part II without having seen the preceding plays.


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