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Everything You Need To Know About Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Everything You Need To Know About Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

It's been on a while now, but if you're wondering what all the fuss is about, here are the answers to some burning questions about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child...

What is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

Unless you've been stuck in Azkaban for the past couple of years, you've probably heard that the next story in the Harry Potter saga, the best-selling book series of all time (more than 450m copies worldwide and counting), isn't a book at all.

In fact, the eighth chapter in the Harry Potter series is a two-part West End stage show.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes up Harry's story from where we left him in the coda at the end of the final book, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.

19 Years Later, Harry Potter's Story Continues

It's 19 years after He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was vanquished; Harry and his wife Ginny (sister of Ron) are at King’s Cross, waving off their middle-child Albus Severus to attend his first term at Hogwarts, along with their eldest son James. Ron’s daughter Rose is also off to school, as is the son of Draco Malfoy, 'little Scorpius'.

(l-r) Harry Potter (Jamie Parker), Albus Potter (Sam Clemmett) and Ginny Potter (Poppy Miller)

The now middle-aged Harry works as an Auror (an elite unit of specialist Ministry of Magic officers trained to apprehend Dark Wizards); Hermione is now deputy head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; and Ron runs a joke shop.

And then there's the 'official' synopsis:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Where can I see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?

The two-part show is on stage at the suitably Hogswartsian Palace Theatre at Cambridge Circus in the West End.

The Palace Theatre with its Potter artwork: a golden snitch-like nest with Albus Potter sheltering inside. Photos via hypable.com

So there are two parts?

Yes, and if you want to see both parts (you do want to see both parts, right?), it's a bit complicated. On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays you can see a matinee performance of Part One and an evening performance of Part Two. One ticket secures you the same seat for both Part One and Part Two on the same day.

On Thursdays, there's evening performances of Part One and on Fridays, evening performances of Part Two. If you see Part One on a Thursday evening, you'll automatically be booked into Part Two the following Friday evening.

If you don't fancy seeing both parts over consecutive performances, you can choose to see Part One on a Thursday at 7.30pm and book Part Two on an alternative Friday at 7.30pm at a later date.

So that's all about as clear as Foe Glass. We have to say, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the first play we've ever known to actually have a ticketing infographic:

Yes, there's an actual infographic explaining about tickets for the new Harry Potter play

When actually happens?

JK Rowling has asked fans to 'keep the secrets': so far audiences are being relatively well behaved.

Is it suitable for my Potter-mad 11-year-old niece?

You're in luck — the show is recommended for ages 10 and over.

How much do Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets cost?

There are five ticket prices for the show: £15, £35, £50, £60 and £65. But if you're seeing both parts (and you're encouraged to see both parts, remember?), you'll need to double these prices. So, to see the whole 'show' we're talking somewhere between £30 and £130.

Is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sold out?

Ahem. Yes. Sorry about that. Tickets went on sale in 2015 and flew out of the box office as fast as a golden snitch on match day.

In fact, the show set a West End record when it sold 175,000 tickets in 24 hours. Ca-ching.

Is there any way I can still get Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets?

Well, yes. There's a special ballot every Friday at 1pm on the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child website, called The Friday Forty.

Forty tickets at £40 (or £30 for previews) will be offered on a random basis to everyone entering the ballot online. You might also be able to bag a returned ticket.

Who's playing Harry, Hermione and Ron?

Original History Boy and Globe Theatre regular Jamie Parker is playing the now middle-aged Harry, with Olivier-award winner Noma Dumezweni as Hermione and Paul Thornley as Ron.

(l-r) Jamie Parker (Harry), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione) and Paul Thornley (Ron). Photo by Simon Annand

While these three are clearly a superbly talented trio, they're not the kind of superstar household names (think Messrs Cumberbatch, Law, Stewart) used to opening must-see shows.

Swaziland-born Dumezweni's casting as Hermione caused a stir when it was announced last year. Twitter Queen JK immediately cut any doubters down:

(l-r) Ginny Potter (Poppy Miller) and Albus Potter (Sam Clemmett)

Who else is on the team?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was written by British playwright Jack Thorne, based on an original story by JK Rowling, Thorne and John Tiffany.

John Tiffany has developed a reputation for 'event' theatre, from his breakthrough play Black Watch, to the folky Irish musical Once. He has worked with co-writer Thorne before, on the 2013 West End adaptation of Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In.

The play is directed by Tiffany, with choreography by Steven Hoggett, set design by Christine Jones, and music by Imogen Heap.

Have we missed anything? You'll find everything else you might need to know, including the chance to buy tickets, and enter that Friday Forty ballot on the official website.

Last Updated 19 October 2016