“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the sprawling play that imagines Harry and his friends as adults and their children as wizards in training, will be significantly revamped before returning to Broadway this fall.
The play, which was staged in two parts before the pandemic, will return in one show on November 16.
The show was widely acclaimed, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Play when it opened in London and the Tony Award for Best New Play when it opened in New York. But it was expensive to develop, expensive to manage, and expensive for theatergoers, who had to buy tickets for two shows to fully enjoy it.
The play’s lead producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, in a joint statement, attributed their decision to “the challenges of putting together and directing a two-part show in the United States on the scale of” Harry Potter and the cursed child ”, and the publicity challenges facing the theater and tourism industries emerging from global shutdowns. “
The show will continue to take place in two parts in London; Melbourne, Australia; and Hamburg, Germany, but will be integrally located in New York, San Francisco and Toronto. It was not immediately clear how long this single part would be; both parts have a total operating time of approximately 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Structured primarily as a scenic sequel to JK Rowling’s seven hugely popular “Harry Potter” novels, the show was the most expensive non-musical play ever seen on Broadway, costing $ 35.5 million to edit, and another estimated at $ 33 million to remake the Lyric Theater on Broadway. Before the pandemic, the play was steadily making around $ 1 million a week on Broadway – an enviable number for most plays, but not enough for this one, with its great company and the expensive technical elements that underpin its magic. scenic.
The play, a high-stakes magical adventure story with themes across lines about growing up and raising children, was written by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany, based on a story credited to Rowling , Thorne and Tiffany. Thorne and Tiffany said they worked on a new version of the series during the pandemic, which they said “gave us a unique opportunity to look at the room with new eyes.”
The writers haven’t said what kind of changes they will make, but the production has promised that the new version will still deliver “all the amazing magic, illusions, directing and storytelling around the same powerful narrative.”
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” began its stage life in London, opening in the summer of 2016 and winning nine Olivier Awards – the most plays – in 2017. It arrived on Broadway in 2018, winning six Tony Awards, and initially sold very heavily, grossing around $ 2 million per week. But sales declined over time as the average ticket price fell, apparently due to a long-term commitment and the need to buy two tickets to see the whole story, which made it particularly expensive for families.
The show has expanded globally – adding productions in San Francisco and Australia, and planning its first non-English language production for Hamburg – complicating the restructuring. But the producers have apparently decided to go for a one-part structure in North America, while maintaining the two-part structure elsewhere in the world, as they attempt to find the formula for long-lasting global success. term. According to the production, the play has already been seen by 4.5 million people.
Tickets for the Broadway production go on sale July 12; ticket prices have not yet been announced. The San Francisco production is scheduled to resume performances at the Curran Theater on January 11, and the Toronto production is scheduled to begin performances next May at the Ed Mirvish Theater.
The two-part play is already set in Melbourne and is set to reopen in London on October 14 and resume premieres in Hamburg on December 1.