The first preview performance of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' hit the Palace Theatre last night and got a resounding thumbs-up from fans we talked to outside. The show is officially sold out, but yesterday I managed to get tickets to see both Part 1 and Part 2 next week. (And I didn’t spend the £1,000 they were rumoured to be selling for online.) If you want to get tickets too, you’re going to need a bit of patience and a lot of luck. Here are my tips…
1. ‘The Friday Forty’ probably isn’t your best bet
Every Friday at 1pm, show organisers are releasing 40 for each show the following week in a randomised ballot. It’s worth trying, but seven members of Time Out staff gave this a go last Friday and it was both confusing and unsuccessful for all of us. (You need to scroll down to the bottom of this page for the countdown/book now button.)
2. Neither is ‘The Wishlist’
Fans who don’t have tickets can add their name to an online wishlist. It means you’ll be notified when tickets are returned that match your availability come up. It only takes a couple of minutes to sign up so is worth trying, however Cursed Child staff at the Palace Theatre informed me that there are already hundreds of thousands of people on the list so your chances are slim.
3. Turn up early on show day and you're not unlikely to bag returned tickets
Last night I stood in the returns queue for opening night. There were 16 people in the queue and four of them got their hands on returned tickets: one pair, two singles. Those people had started queuing between 4.30pm and 5pm.
4. People are selling their spare tickets outside the theatre
You can only collect Cursed Child tickets from the Palace Theatre if you have ID to prove you bought them officially, but there are people selling their spare tickets to members of the returns queue after they’ve already picked them up – and they’re only a bit more expensive. I met a woman asking for £400 for her two tickets to both Part 1 and 2. I also met a guy selling two tickets to Part 1 for £60 each.
5. Keep checking the Nimax website
It’s worth checking the Nimax site every now and then. Yesterday there were a bunch of tickets dumped online without warning for both last minute shows and future performances. In fact, I got my tickets by heading checking Nimax after a tip-off on Twitter about the dump. I also talked to someone outside the Palace who’d managed to pick up tickets for Parts 1 and 2 in the same way. Good luck!
Watch fans' reactions in our video.