The magical world of Harry Potter is about to arrive for its live theatre debut at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End in the brand new story for the series, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. If that isn’t enough to get J.K. Rowling fans hepped up to corporeal patronus levels of magical friction, it’s actually a two part story with two performances to see in total, so there will be plenty of action to take in for the same one ticket price.
The play will be starting with preview dates from the 3rd May 2016 with the full, Hogwarts-graduated production starting in July 2016. There are three booking periods currently available starting with the previews from the 3rd to the 27th May 2016, full show tickets available on sale from the 27th September 2016 to the 8th January 2017 and finally the last stint of full show performances from the 11th January 2017 to the 31st April 2017.
While tickets are selling faster than chocolate frogs on the train over from Platform 9 3/4 on the first day of school, the long run means that there’s still good availability for tickets if you’re happy to book well in advance. There’s not much time to move on the preview shows though with a lot of dates already booked up, so if you don’t mind the prospect of seeing something that is still a bit of a work in progress then you should get your skates on.
Surprisingly, ticket prices for a performance of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child are on the reasonable side of the spectrum, but you need to remember that you’ll have to buy tickets for both parts, which doubles the cost.
Ticket pricing for regular performances from 3 August range between £30 to £130 for both parts. The show double bill is intended to be seen either on the same day watching the matinee show for Part 1 and evening for Part 2; or on consequitive nights.
Nineteen years on from the end of the devastating climax of The Deathly Hallows, things have changed a lot with Harry Potter And The Cursed Child picking up with Harry as a family man and Ministry Of Magic employee. He and Ginny have three school-age kids to look after and if that isn’t enough to keep them busy they also has a mountain of work to contend with at the ministry.
Their youngest son, Albus Severus Potter, is probably their biggest concern as he struggles with his father’s legacy as the man who defeated Voldemort. It’s a past that doesn’t seem to want to stay dead and buried, and Harry and his son discover that there’s still a lot of darkness in the world and it’s about to come for them from some very unpredictable places.
A massive cast has been brought together for Part I and II of the Harry Potter And The Cursed Child play with Jamie Parker (The History Boys) taking the lead role alongside Paul Thornley (Les Miserables (2012), Minions) as Ron and Noma Dumezweni (A Raisin In The Sun) as Hermione. The rest of the cast is made up of Nicola Alexis, Helen Aluko, Jeremy Ang Jones, Rosemary Annabella, Annabel Baldwin, Jack Bennett, Paul Bentall, Anthony Boyle, Zoe Brough, Sam Clemmett, Morag Cross, Cristina Fray, Rudi Goodman, Claudia Grant, James Howard, Christiana Hutchings, Lowri James, Chris Jarman, Martin Johnston, Bili Keogh, Chipo Kureya, James Le Lacheur, Helena Lymbery, Tom Mackley, Barry McCarthy, Sandy McDade, Andrew McDonald, Adam McNamara, Poppy Miller, Tom Milligan, Jack North, Alex Price, Stuart Ramsay, Nuno Silva, Cherrelle Skeete, Esther Smith (Cuckoo Series 3), Nathaniel Smith, Dylan Standen and Joshua Wyatt.
The play has been written by Jack Thorne, based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne and John Tiffany, with the latter also taking on the directing role and Colin Callender is the producer. Steven Hoggett is the movement director, Christine Jones takes care of the set designer and Katrina Lindsay is the costume designer for the play. Imogen Heap has composed the music to accompany the performances, which will be supported by Neil Austin’s lighting design, Gareth Fry’s sound design and special effects by Jeremy Chernick.
The story for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child sounds like an interesting concept to turn into a play, but the big question is whether or not is will be able to tap into the same macabre magic and wizarding fun and excitement as the books and films. The fact that Harry’s kids are all school-age would imply that Hogwarts will be a part of the plot at some level, but you can’t get away from the fact that Harry, Ron and Hermione are now middle-aged, which could be a difficult sell to win over Potter fans.
There are a lot of performance dates over the next year and with fairly reasonable ticket prices for the two-part show, so it will be fairly accessible for anyone looking to make a trip to London’s West End to see the production at the Palace Theatre. While the fact that it’s a two-part story does mean that you will need to invest a lot more time than going to see the average play, it will make it feel like a pretty big occasion.
We’ll be very surprised if the play doesn’t eventually go on to be adapted into at least two new movies with the sheer success of the previous seven Harry Potter films. It’s already been confirmed that the stage play script will be released as a hardback book at the same time, so there’s every possibility that it could inspire a whole new flurry of Hogwarts activity.