Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will come to the end of its record-breaking run at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne on 9 July 2023, after four years, 1 million tickets sold and more than 1,300 performances making it the longest running play in Australian history.
More tickets will be released today (Monday 6 February), making this the final opportunity for audiences to book to see the play in Australia.
The multi award-winning play originally cast a spell over the city as a two-part event, opening in February 2019. Audiences and critics alike were entranced, with The Herald Sun saying Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was “like nothing on earth”, while Limelight said, “this epic piece of theatre not only meets expectations but exceeds them”.
It was the first production of the play globally to triumphantly re-open following the unprecedented global shutdown due to COVID-19 in February 2021, and then was boldly restaged as a single ticket experience in May 2022, following the success of the reimagined production on Broadway, receiving rave reviews.
Time Out Melbourne declared the reimagined one-part version a “bewitching triumph” while The Age said it was a “must-see”, and “a spectacular stage rollercoaster into the Potter universe”.
The production welcomed people from every state in Australia as well as visitors from New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Mexico and many others to the historic Princess Theatre in Melbourne, following a $6 million renovation. It will not tour to other cities, meaning when the curtain falls for the final time on 9 July it will leave Australia.
“We are extremely proud of our Melbourne production and to be the longest running play in the history of Australia is an extraordinary achievement,” said Producer Sonia Friedman CBE.
“Opening our production here has been one of the highlights in the life of our ground-breaking, astonishing show and we look forward to an amazing final five months in this glorious city.”
“Melbourne has such a rich culture of arts and theatre and we want to thank the Australian audiences for embracing our play,” said Producer Colin Callender CBE.
“We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our cast, company and creative team for getting us to this milestone and coming on this incredible journey with us.”
Gareth Reeves, who has played Harry Potter since the production premiered in Melbourne, said he has been honoured to tell the story to so many fans, old and new, of the boy who lived.
“It has been the greatest honour to play Harry Potter as an adult and explore the complex and thrilling story the creative team have crafted,” he said.
“At its heart this is a story of family, and I pay tribute to the incredible family we have created at the Princess Theatre over the past four years, both those on stage and those we welcomed into the theatre each night.”
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the first Harry Potter story to be presented on stage, has sold over 6.5 million tickets worldwide and holds a record 60 major honours, with nine Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Play and six Tony Awards® including Best New Play.
Productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are currently playing at the Palace Theatre, London, UK; Lyric Theatre, New York, USA; Mehr! Theater, Hamburg, Germany; CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, Canada; and at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theatre, Tokyo, Japan.
“All good things must come to an end, and after an incredible four years it is time for the most spectacular production Australia has ever seen to play to its final audiences,” said the Australian production’s executive producer Michael Cassel AM.
“Melbourne has been an incredible home for Harry Potter and I can’t thank the people of Victoria for welcoming the cursed child with such incredible enthusiasm. I know they will ensure the show has a memorable farewell.”
In 2022, the show broke the record for most tickets sold of any stage play in Australia, selling over one million tickets, and in December 2022 the cast celebrated over 1,000 performances.
An estimated 326,500 people saw the show in its first year, topping any previous record set by a stage play in the history of Australian theatre, with over half of these attendees made up of first-time theatregoers.
“Victoria is Australia’s home of major events and theatre and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has thrilled crowds here in Melbourne for the past four years,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos.
“Bringing shows like this to our city delivers major benefits to our economy – with hotels, restaurants and retailers all getting a boost. Melbourne is the only place to see this extraordinary show in Australia and I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen it to book fast and experience everything Melbourne has to offer.”
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling CH OBE, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany OBE, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features movement by Steven Hoggett, set by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music & arrangements by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, illusions & magic by Jamie Harrison and music supervision & arrangements by Martin Lowe.
International Casting Consultant is Jim Carnahan (CSA) and Australian casting by Janine Snape (CGA). Executive Producer of the Australian production is Michael Cassel.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions, and is supported by the Victorian Government’s annual Major Events Fund, through Visit Victoria.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continues at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne until 9 July 2023. For more information, visit: www.harrypottertheplay.com for details.
Image: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Australian Cast 2022) – photo by Michelle Grace Hunder