I might as well come clean and say that I am a Harry Potter addict. It all started when I took my niece and nephew to see the Philosopher’s Stone at the cinema in 2001 but by the time the Prisoner of Azkaban was released they were teenagers and would rather go with their mates than their auntie. Trouble is, I was already hooked by this point so I still went to the cinema to watch each sequel without the kids, followed by reading the books and absorbing every detail. So you won’t be surprised to hear that over 18 months ago I booked tickets to the see the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I finally got to see it in February. The play is split into two parts and I attended on consecutive nights or you can see the play in one day at a matinee showing and then back to the theatre the same evening. I can’t tell you what happens as JK Rowling asks everyone to not divulge the story. I was excited to get a badge after the first performance with the hashtag #keepthesecrets and an email the next day with a video asking the audience to not let anything slip. I can tell you that the story builds slowly but by the end of the first night it leaves you on a cliff hanger excited to find out more and trying to guess the outcome. It is engaging, well acted and the magic tricks are mind blowing. I would only recommend it to Harry Potter fans that have seen all the films or read the books otherwise it won’t make any sense. It is difficult to get tickets but not impossible if you plan ahead:
Top Tips for Getting Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
1) Start by signing up to the play’s newsletter as the next batch of tickets are due for release in April 2017. The newsletter will let you know what date they will become available. Block the time out of your diary with a link to the ticket box office website and make sure you are waiting online ready for the time of release. Choose tickets on consequtive nights (Thursday and Friday) as these are less popular than the weekend maitinee and evening tickets. Be prepared to wait at least a year until you get to see the play but it was definitely worth the wait. (There were some tickets already available online when I last looked).
2) In Person: I asked the box office the likely hood of getting tickets on the day and they say it is possible if you queue from about 4pm to be in with a chance of a cancelled ticket but even then you are not guaranteed a ticket for part two.
3) Harry Potter The Play Website: Every Friday at 1pm a small amount of tickets are released for the following week’s performance. You can only buy two tickets but they are reasonably priced and good seats. Put the date in your diary and put a ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ note on your desk so no one distracts you at this crucial moment.
4) If you require accessibility tickets for you or a friend then this article from Emma Purcell has some good tips on how to book and what to expect.
In the meantime I recommend watching the films again back to back, listening to the audio books on your commute (narrated by the brilliant Stephen Fry) and visiting the House of Minalima in London’s Soho, they were the graphic designers for the Harry Potter films and have some of the intricate art work from the films on display and available to purchase.
I turn to the Harry Potter films and books when I am stressed and put it down to escapism but this blog post by Amelia Diamond argues that adults turn to the Harry Potter stories to cope with life rather than escape. She discovers a course by Professor Mamary at Monmouth College that has been using Harry Potter for education purposes. If you discovered Harry Potter as an adult like me, the article raises some interesting points.
A bit of forward planning is worth the wait to see the play and you might get lucky with some last minute tickets.