CEO Message - February 2019 - Crazy About Harry

I have a confession to make, I’m one of the few people in Melbourne, who has never read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the films. But that all changed last weekend, when I had the greatest pleasure to sit through Parts 1 and 2 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 

Even though I didn’t know the back story to the play, I found the production highly entertaining, with unbelievable magic moments and mesmerising visual effects, plus there are unexpected enjoyable laughs along the way. The demand for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is truly taking off. According to The Age, more tickets will be released next week for shows up to February 2020. This is unprecedented, as shows normally sell a few months in advance but already the weekend shows are sold out until August.

This is excellent news for Melbourne’s visitor industry as the producers are aiming to attract Harry Potter fans across the Asia Pacific region. Given that it is a two-part production, there is the expectation that visitors outside of Melbourne will commit to a longer stay so they can see the entire performance. 

Michael Cassel, executive producer of this production said plans are in place for an interstate campaign, with the TVC to be shot this week, showcasing the all Australian cast. There is also the plan to target the Chinese market who apparently are very crazy about Harry. 

We are all to be proud that the producers of this production have selected Melbourne as the exclusive Australian city for their third theatrical production. Melbourne’s reputation has grown, given we’re now keeping company with London and New York, the two other cities where Harry Potter was staged. We also must applaud Jason Marriner and his team for their investment in renovating the Princess Theatre, which is a magnificent venue for this Gothic production.   

The producers are very hopeful that Harry Potter, his family and friends will stay beyond 2020, and we hope they are right!