February 20, 2017

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

When I started planning my recent trip to England, I wanted to see a play. Then I heard about a new production to premiere in London’s West End, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and I registered for priority booking. Advance ticket sales opened in October 2015 and I logged on to find myself about 1,800 in the queue. After waiting two hours for my turn to buy tickets I had problems on the web site and came away empty handed. The first four months of performances sold out in hours.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at London's Palace Theatre

The next day I noticed a trickle of tickets being returned. I watched for a suitable date to open up and I soon secured two tickets to Cursed Child at London’s historic Palace Theatre. It didn’t matter that our seats were in different rows, with cautions about restricted views of the stage. I was going to see the play!

Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue

This new story about a grown-up Harry Potter who works for the Ministry of Magic is told in two parts; our tickets were for Sunday matinee and evening shows. One of our tickets was for a front row seat in the Stalls (Ground Floor) so my friend and I took turns, swapping places at intermission. Sitting so close to the stage I could clearly see every expression on the actors’ faces.

Palace Theatre Entrance

One of the Palace Theatre Bars

The Balconies

Seating in the Stalls

The Stage from Front Row

Souvenir Programs

J.K. Rowling urges theatre-goers to “keep the secrets” but if you want to know more about the plot, the story has been released in a Special Rehearsal Edition Script. I’ll just tell you that the music and movements were amazing. The illusions and magic were amazing. The whole experience was… yes, amazing.

Window Display at Waterstones Book Store

In between performances we dined on a traditional Sunday Roast at the The Porcupine on Charing Cross Road, followed by a stroll through lively Leicester Square in the heart of London’s theatre district. The William Shakespeare Fountain was modelled after a monument to the bard in Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey.

The Porcupine, Charing Cross Road

The Noel Coward Dining Room

Tribute to Noel Coward

Traditional Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding

Cranbourn Street to Leicester Square

William Shakespeare Fountain in Leicester Square

Fountain Statue of Shakespeare

Memorial to William Shakespeare in Westminster Abbey
Photo: Dean and Chapter of Westminster
Enjoying the Fountain

The TKTS Theatre Ticket Booth

Steven Spielberg's BFG Dream Jar: Sweet Dreams

If you’re planning a trip to England and want to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, tickets are currently on sale for performances to April 29, 2018. (The next block of tickets will be released in April, 2017.) There’s also exciting news for North American fans:  the hit play is coming to The Lyric Theatre on Broadway in spring of 2018. Updates will be posted on the official play web site.

Next: Hampton Court Palace

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