Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Break out the butterbeer — the acclaimed play has brought its magic back to the stage.
UPDATE Thursday, July 29: Due to Melbourne's latest lockdown, performances of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' have been cancelled until Sunday, August 8. Further announcements will be made in the coming days, but head to the website for the latest information. For more details on Victoria's current restrictions, see the Department of Health and Human Services website.
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows dropped its last terrible three words on us at the close of the book, all was not well. It would never be well without Harry, Ron, Hermione fighting the Dark Lord in a series of fantastical and wholly engrossing scenarios. But, little did we know, this would not be the end of the Age of Harry Potter. Thanks to the internet and the sheer demand for all things HP, Harry has lived on through new books, fan website Pottermore, the Fantastic Beasts film spinoff series and all manner of events dedicated to the franchise.
One of the biggest things to come of the post-Harry Potter era has been Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, of course — aka the West End play that's essentially the eighth book in the series. It first arrived in Australia in February 2019, hitting up Melbourne's Princess Theatre, and proved unsurprisingly popular. Now, after closing down during the Victorian capital's 2020 lockdowns, the production is back in 2021.
Muggles, rejoice. Harry Potter fandom aside, this is also something that all theatre-goers can get excited about. Since debuting in London in July 2016, the production has won a swathe of awards and has proven a repeated sell-out — in the West End, on Broadway and in San Francisco, too.
Melburnians — and other Australian Harry Potter and/or theatre aficionados — probably already marked Thursday, February 25, 2021 in their diaries, as that's when the magic returned. The show resumed after a 49-week hiatus, and it's sticking around all year. Originally due to wrap up in August, it'll now stay until Sunday, December 12, with tickets for the later dates available form 9am on Thursday, April 29.
So what exactly is The Cursed Child about? Well, it picks up 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and that abominably cheery epilogue on Platform 9 3/4. Harry is now an overworked Ministry of Magic employee, and the play focuses on both him and his youngest son Albus Severus Potter as they grapple with the past and future. The production is presented in two parts, so you'll have to book into two performances, either on the same day (matinee and evening) or on consecutive evenings.
If you've baulked at the astronomical price of the blockbuster play about everyone's favourite boy wizard, you wouldn't be alone — especially given that you need to pay for two sets of tickets if you want to see the whole show. Throw your pointy hat in The Friday Forty ring instead and you just might win the chance to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for under a hundred bucks. The digital lottery is open from Monday to Friday each week, with the winners notified between 1–5pm every Friday. Winners score the opportunity to buy tickets for $40 a pop (so $80 for consecutive performances of the two parts) for shows the following week.
Image one: Evan Zimmerman for Murphy Made. Updated April 23.