As the title suggest, I’m keeping the secrets, but I finally, FINALLY, got to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and now I understand why it’s sold out years in advance. My golly gosh was it good!
Now, I’m going to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but if you genuinely want to walk into it completely blind, so to speak, even down to how long the queues were and where we ate between shows, how to get to the theatre and the difference between the programme and the brochure then just skip this entire post. Don’t read it. It’s cool. I won’t mind. We’re all friends here.
Technically, it is one of the most beautiful pieces of theatre I have ever seen. Every inch of it is just as magical as you would expect J.K’s world to be. The performances are some of the strongest I have seen in a LONG time. It’s incredible what they have managed to achieve through all the different mediums and elements of theatre.
I took my Mum for her birthday and it made my little, nerd heart sing that we got the 11 0’clock train into London. We timed it right, a pit stop on Oxford Street for a 45 minute browse through the sale rails and then back on the tube to Hogwarts… or Leicester Square I guess.
The Palace Theatre is pretty close to Leicester Square tube station, around a 5/10 minute walk away. Follow the
Marauder’s maps that are positioned along the pavements, by stations etc. London is a big place after all. Don’t want to end up down Knockturn Alley. You can reach Leicester Square tube station via the Piccadilly (dark blue) and Northern (black) lines. From Liverpool Street, we took the Central (red) line, westbound, to Tottenham Court Road (Hermione’s go to apparition location when in danger) and then hopped one stop on the Northern Line, southbound, to Leicester Square. Head north up Charing Cross road, take a left down Shaftesbury Avenue (now, you’re really in “Theatreland”) and you’ll find it from there. If in doubt, check a map, check an app, ask a random, contrary to popular belief Brits are quite nice when they want to be. Be polite and they’ll be polite back. We don’t stand for fuss and nonsense, only when it’s truly absurd.
When you queue up, even if you have your tickets already, the queue snakes all the way around the building. Get a snack to have in the queue, you might be there a while if you arrive early. Although, if it’s something bigger than a box of chocolate frogs, you wont be able to take it in with you. Also, Harry Potter regalia is welcomed. Do not have a single doubt as to whether you should wear your HP jewellery/scarf/jumper/t-shirt/robes/full on cos-play. It’s a potter family and nothing hurts. Just do it. It’s worth it. Don’t worry, if you forget your house pride, you can buy something to show it off there, although be warned, the queue for the merch shop is a very, very long one. We Brit’s love a good queueing system and the guys at the Palace Theatre have got in down. You’re in safe hands from the moment you reach the front doors.
*SPOILERS* The next part details a very basic, glazed over note of what is featured in the programmes and souvenir brochure. There are no names, scenes or moments given away though. Skip ahead to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know. *SPOILERS*
Have £5 ready, as there is a stand solely for programmes. It’s much easier if you have the right change and you will be able to skip the merch queue all together. As well as this, head to one of the bar sale/concessions points, as they also have the larger, souvenir brochures and the tote bags… which btw, come in a bundle. The tote comes with a souvenir brochure, so no need to buy them both separately. The programmes and brochures ARE different. The PROGRAMME has the cast & character lists. The BROCHURE has the fancy pictures and behind the scenes. So to avoid spoilers, choose wisely… although they are printed with their own spoiler warnings.
Also, you wont be able to hang around between shows, that is if you manage to see both in one day. Like the majority of West End theatres, they are solely just performance spaces, so they only open around 45 minutes before the show is due to begin and close right after. Well, apart from the box offices. They’re open and accessible more frequently. There are loads of restaurants around for all price points and tastes. We hopped on back to Leicester Square, where my Mum chose to go for her birthday meal at Bella Italia, which wasn’t overtly pricey, but certainly wasn’t Pizza Hut! There are plenty of places around, from Steak to Mexican, Pizza to Noodles and with China Town just around the corner there is also the option of a scrummy Chinese buffet too!
Anyway, if you’re lucky enough to have tickets, you’re in for a treat! Enjoy!