'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Extends Through End of 2017

Harry Potter Cursed Child Theatrical Still 2 H 2016
Manuel Harlan

The two-part play, which recounts the eighth story in J.K. Rowling's wizardry saga, has opened at London's Palace Theatre to across-the-board raves and sellout business.

Good news for Potter fans. There are now a-quarter-of-a-million more chances to experience Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The two-part play that has drawn rapturous reviews was originally scheduled to close next year on May 27 at the Palace Theatre on London's West End. But demand for tickets has prompted producers Sonia Friedman, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions to extend the run by seven months.

A new block of 250,000 tickets for performances through Dec. 10, 2017, will be released for sale Aug. 4, including 300 tickets per performance priced at £20 or less in a bid to make the play accessible to fans in all income brackets.

Designed to be seen over two nights or at consecutive performances on matinee days, the play is written by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany, based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany. It picks up on a new generation, focusing on the offspring of Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco Malfoy as those core characters face the challenges of parenting.

Critics have been effusive in their praise for the play as both a fluid continuation of the Potter saga and a unique theatrical experience in its own right. In a clever marketing ploy, the production is distributing free badges after each performance that read #keepthesecrets — an attempt to keep plot developments under wraps that has largely paid off, beginning with tight-lipped reviewers.

While no plans have yet been announced for a Broadway production of the play, the strong track record of both Friedman and Callender with New York stage ventures makes an eventual trans-Atlantic transfer seem a given.

The stellar London launch and the massive global following for Rowling's stories are clear signs that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is shaping up to be the next international stage blockbuster.