#KeepTheSecrets: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
This week has been a pretty theatre-filled affair. After Big Fish on Wednesday, I was back in the stalls on Thursday and Friday for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now, despite my usual view on spoilers, I am going to follow the publicity campaign and "keep the secrets" for this show.
The reasons for this are two-fold - firstly I know a lot of people desperately want to see the show and would give their right arm to do so, but can't get tickets. S and I got lucky with the Friday40 competition, but some people have been trying for months and I'm not going to ruin it for them.
Secondly, it is two full shows, it is packed full of plot and I could simply not cover it all and do it justice. I will leave it at this. I loved it.
However, for those of you who are excitedly planning your trip - either scheduled or hypothetical - I will offer these thoughts for you to consider as you plan your day.
Get there early
Anyone who has seen the Palace Theatre recently knows there is scaffolding and hoardings up around the front. This means you have to go round the back of the theatre to join a queue and go in the front door. This queue will snake round the building and across the road. The first night we were there we got to the theatre just after 7pm and got into our seat at 7.31pm. They don't hold the curtain beyond 7.40pm (we were told) and anyone getting into the theatre late will watch the first bit on a screen in the bar. Get there early.
Don't dress up
I know we all love Harry Potter. We have all found out what house we are in and what our Patronus is - Gryffidndor and a fox, in case you were wondering. But you do not need to go whole-hog to then sit in a dark room watching other people perform. Wear your Hogwarts scarf, by all means. If you are really desperate you can chuck some glasses and a scar on, but you will stand out. Don't get we wrong, I was tempted. S had to talk me out of prepping my Newt Scamander costume for our trip. But you don't need it. You are there for the show - a broomstick will get in your way and no one wants to be sat behind the numpty in a witch's hat or a Hagrid wig.
Put the phone away
This is theatre #101 but Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is bringing some non-theatre folks into the auditorium, so please don't take photos or record during the show. The light is off-putting for other people and it's a hassle for the stewards.
You are going to be sat with and around the people in the audience for about five hours - so be nice. Don't eat loud food or natter during the show, or do things which are generally annoying. Also, and this is a personal one, please don't applaud after every sequence. There are some stunning and amazing bits of the show and it all deserves your full approval, but constant applause breaks up the show.
Hogwarts Happy Hour
If you are watching the show across two evenings there is happy hour before the second half begins. Just saying.
Don't ruin it for other people. It is a great show and you will love it, let others do the same.
Tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can be found here.