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    See magic come to life at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

    We all know how popular the Harry Potter universe is around the world. JK Rowling’s seven book series is the best-selling in history with more than half a billion copies sold worldwide in over eighty languages. The film adaptations lived up to the legacy, with seven of the eight instalments ranking in the 50 highest-grossing films of all time and netting 12 Academy Award nominations. 

    Now, the Wizarding World has been brought to the stage for the very first time with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play by Jack Thorne who co-created the original story with JK Rowling and John Tiffany. The production features a supremely talented cast and creative team who bring the story to life with incredible visuals, enchanting music, enthralling set designs and a thrilling story. 

    What’s the new production about?

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows a grown-up Harry Potter who now works at the Ministry of Magic and, along with his wife Ginny, attempts to keep up with three school-age children. Despite the defeat of Voldemort at the conclusion of the original book and film series, Harry’s past continues to be a burden as he moves into his adult life while his youngest son Albus wrestles with the difficulty of inheriting such a notorious family legacy. The synopsis closes with the ominous line: As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

    Check out the trailer below: 

    Critical reception

    Sure, the play sounds amazing, but does it live up to the hype? The good news is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has received widespread critical acclaim and is the most lauded production in the history of Britain’s Olivier Awards. The play broke the Olivier record with nine awards including Best Director and Best New Play, and has also been recognised with 6 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 6 Tony Awards and 5 Drama Desk Awards after its astonishingly successful Broadway run. 

    When is it showing?

    Tickets are in high demand, but there are plenty of showings from now until the final scheduled performances on September 13. Uniquely, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is broken into two separate parts that are presented either on the same day (afternoon and evening) with a break for dinner or on two evenings in a row. Part One runs for 2 hours and 40 minutes (including a 20 minute interval) while Part Two runs for 2 hours and 35 minutes (with another 20 minute interval). 

    There are typically four showings a week with a mix of single-day performances and those spread across two consecutive evenings. Tickets can be booked online – it’s possible to book each part separately, but keep in mind that the production has been designed for audiences to see consecutively or within two days. 

    Where is it showing?

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Melbourne run is exclusive to the Princess Theatre, an iconic 1850s venue just 10 minutes’ walk from Fraser Place Melbourne. The theatre holds 1500 people across three levels – Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle – and has undergone a $6.5 million makeover just for this production. Expect to see its interior transformed to resemble the grand corridors and halls of Hogwarts to set the scene for the adventure you’re about to behold. 

    If you’re coming as a family, keep in mind the play is considered suitable for ages 10 and up and all attendees must have a ticket no matter their age. Children under 4 years are not permitted and anyone under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

    Premium tickets and packages

    If you want the very best experience when you go to see this magnificent production, check out the VIP packages and premium lounge options offered by the Princess Theatre. Packages include access to the best seating in the house, complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, priority service, a souvenir program, private interval spaces and access to the Premium Lounge.