This weekend, I was lucky enough to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. As promised, I won’t be giving any spoilers, don’t worry! It was obviously incredible, the staging in particular is magic. Quite literally. Press Night is the end of July, so I will be doing a review at that point. But until then: #KeepTheSecrets
Instead, I thought I would give a few tips about the experience, such as time, stage door and what to do between shows.
1) On Arrival:
The official email recommends turning up 1 hour before each show starts. Owing to trains being as (un)reliable as ever, we turned up 20 minutes before it started. I say turned up, legged it!
There was no queue.
Personally, I’m someone who likes to get there for the time suggested. But 1 hour seems a bit much, even for me. The hour, I believe, is to allow people to queue for merchandise before hand and also for security. We got through security in a minute.
I’d say 30 minutes is ample time to get there for. Certainly no less if you want to do merchandise first.
Take water and lots if it. I got through one bottle by the end of Part 1. And another one by the end of Part 2.
It can get quite warm for the audience, let alone the actors! Afterwards, Jamie Parker noted he was wearing 4 layers at certain points and he was boiling!
Bring a big bottle for the first half and then buy another in between shows. There are bars on site which do free glasses of water I believe, but there’s also a Sainsburys in Covent Garden 5 minutes away which is much cheaper. Which brings me on to…
The first show lasts 2 hours and 40 minutes. That leaves 1 hour and 45 minutes until Part 2. I suggest you get there early, scout out the area and book somewhere for dinner in between. It’s a busy area of London and once Part 1 finishes, there’ll be hundreds of you looking for dinner as well as hundreds of tourists!
We booked at Pizza Express which is just a 2 minute walk. But there’s plenty of places nearby. Just book in advance.
Also, don’t take food in with you. There are announcements before each part reminding you to turn off your phone and also interestingly not eat noisy food! Don’t do it. Eat between shows!
4) The Merchandise Stand
There’s plenty on offer at the Merch stand and they replenish things frequently. My recommendation for best time to go: the end of Part 1 or beginning of Part 2 seemed to be the least busy.
The merchandise stand is located in the foyer where you arrive. There is a queue system at the moment which goes down stairs, so that this area doesn’t get too crowded. And listen to the nice stewards! It’ll move quicker than if you try to cut in!
4) Stage Door
If you want to go to stage door after the show, it’s round the back of the theatre. There were only about 50 people when we went, so it wasn’t massively busy.
Most of the cast come out after the show and seemed happy to sign and take photos. Ron basically made my month by saying, ‘You could be a Weasley!’ And Jamie was such a sweetie, bless. We were the last few in the line and didn’t want to hold him up. When we told him we were Globies though, he stayed for 5 minutes to talk to us and catch up on Globe news!
Also respect the fact that some actors will just want to go home. They’ve just done a 5 hour show. And bring a sharpie (and prepare to have it nicked by an actor if they forget one!)
5) Unleash your inner child and ENJOY THE MAGIC!