Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: how to get tickets
Internet frenzy as fans complain of queues and profiteering; season extended to satisfy demand
A new Harry Potter play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has sent fans potty, with tickets selling out within hours, fans complaining about online sales shambles and profiteering resellers, and producers already announcing an extended run.
So what is the play about?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part stage play, co-written by Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany, and based on an original JK Rowling story.
Not much information has been released so far about the content of the play, but it will be a sequel to the original book series. Set 19 years after the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it will focus on Harry's youngest son Albus Severus.
According to producers it will see Harry as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three children.
His youngest son Albus has to take on the weight of the family legacy, and "both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places".
Billed as the "eighth Harry Potter story and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage", the two-part play is set to make its world premiere at the Palace Theatre in London's West End on 7 June 2016.
The ticket Fiasco
Priority booking for the stage show, originally scheduled to run from June to September, opened on Wednesday morning, prompting an online frenzy as fans tried to get their hands on the first batch of tickets.
Buyers had to be pre-registered at the play's official website at Nimax to even be able to attempt to purchase the priority tickets, reports MTV News. They then had to wait in a pre-queue line before the official 11.00am start time.
One fan tweeted: "Only English people would create a pre-queue to the queue."
The show sold more than 175,000 tickets in just eight hours and some appeared on re-sale ticket websites soon after, priced at more than £1,000.
This prompted the play's official Twitter account to warn buyers not to resell their tickets on alternative platforms, as patrons would not be admitted into the theatre.
After selling out tickets for the first booking period from 7 June to 18 September producers quickly extended the season to January 2017, but this didn't stop fans complaining about long online waiting times and glitches, reports the BBC.
One fan, Em Maree wrote: "Finally got my three tickets for the #CursedChild play but am shocked by the shambles that was the booking. 4 hours is a joke!"
Another tweeted: "This play better blow my mind @jk_rowling @HPPlayLDN ... Never been so stressed buying tickets before #CursedChild."
Are there any tickets left?
Yes, don't panic, producers have promised more tickets will be released when the general sale begins on Friday 30 October.
So how do you get them?
Tickets for the two-part play, starting from £30, will go on general sale tomorrow via Nimax Theatres and ATG Tickets websites. Once tickets sell out, there will be a weekly and daily lottery for all performances nearer the time.
In addition, four special preview performances are planned for the end of May 2016 – details of where and how to obtain these tickets will be announced at a later date.
Both parts are designed to be watched in the same day – matinee and evening – or on two consecutive nights.