Let’s say you are going to London and while you are there you would like to see a show on the West End. That’s reasonable; most people do. But let’s say you are also a huge Harry Potter fan (like the kind who would buy a wand at Harry Potter World) so you want to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child because this might be your only chance. So you decide that the West End show you will see is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Great, right?
Nope, not great, because unless you happened to know a year ago that you would be visiting London this summer, you probably can’t buy tickets. This is the situation I found myself in. So what’s a Muggle to do?
About the Show
The first thing to understand about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is that it is actually one story shown in two parts (hmmm…when have they done that before). So when you are looking for tickets you will most likely want to buy your tickets for both parts together (that is how they are normally sold).
You either go to a Wednesday and Thursday showing, or a showing of both parts on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. This of course mean that if you go to both parts in one day almost all of that day will be taken up with seeing the show.
That is not a bad thing however because this show is amazing. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I do want you to know that it is awesome.
A caveat to my recommendation is this, I did not read the script before seeing the play. I am a big proponent of things be consumed in the medium they were intended for. I intentionally did not read the script that was published last year, even though I did not know I was going to be in London this year.
If I had read the script I do not think I would have liked the story of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but as a play it is an absolutely amazing story to watch and I highly recommend it. The story is good and nostalgic for anyone who loves the Harry Potter books. The acting is excellent and the special effects are top of the line.
Two Ways to Get Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
After discovering that I could not purchase tickets within a year of trying, I discovered two other methods listed on the website for obtaining tickets.
Option 1: Friday Forty
Because J. K. Rowling wants everyone to at least have a hope of getting tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, she has established a tradition where each showing of the play holds 40 tickets in reserve. These 40 tickets are then released by lottery for £40 a piece. They can be anywhere in the Palace Theater, so you can’t be sure what you will end up with if you win the lottery. But, £40 is a good price for most seats, and sometimes the Friday Forty will have really good seats.
Friday Forty tickets are released every Friday at 1:00 PM (UK time) for all the shows the following week. That means the tickets will be for the following Wednesday/Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performances. This can be a little confusing since the release happens in the middle of the current weeks performances. The dates for the shows that will have tickets released will be listed on the website.
How to Enter the Friday Forty
To enter for the Friday Forty you will need to go to the ticket webpage here. Scroll down until you find the Friday Forty. You must be on this page, in this spot at 1:00 PM (UK time) the Friday before the week you are going to London. This obviously works best if you have your schedule open in such a way that you could attend any of the plays the following week.
Meagan and I got up early in the morning to be waiting for the Friday Forty release the Friday before we left for London. The timer clicked over to 0, the button came up, we clicked it, went through the robot check, and then waited. And waited. We waited for what seemed like a long time but was actually just a few minutes. Then we were told that we had not been selected.
Of course considering that many people want to see this play and only 160 tickets are released as part of the Friday Forty this is not that surprising.
If you are selected by lottery you will then be able to go ahead and pay for your tickets. You should feel awesome and very excited at this point. If you, like us, were not selected don’t worry, you can still see the show just like we did.
Option 2: Check Back Often
The way I ended up getting tickets was by checking throughout each day for returned tickets to show up. I had the ticket page pulled up on my phone and periodically (not obsessively) I would check for tickets to show up on the days we were there.
At first only premium tickets for £250 a piece would show up. That was more than I could justify paying for the show, so I just kept checking. Eventually some showed up for £115, I almost bought them, but it was still too much. Then some finally showed up for £40, they were in the second to last row of the theater, but I didn’t care. We were able to get these tickets which comes out to only £20 per show which was not a bad deal at all.
When you look at the calendar you will see most dates are red meaning there are no tickets available. But as the dates approach most of them will turn yellow. Always check each yellow date that you could possibly go since there is always a chance that a ticket or tickets in your price range has been returned.
If you are a Harry Potter fan going to London, try your best to get tickets. It will be well worth it in my opinion. Meagan also really enjoyed the play even though she is not as big a fan as me, and was not nearly as excited about it before seeing it. I think she may have actually liked it even better than I did.
Please let me know any questions that you have in the comments below.