Hairy Potter – selling a show when the author is persona non grata

While the creator of the Potter-verse may no longer be everyone's favourite multimillionaire, there are still plenty in the sector hoping to taste some Harry flavoured success.
A young white man dressed as Harry Potter branding a wand, crossing that with a star wand brandished by an other young white man wearing devil's horns.

Roman Polanski’s publicists know all about this, so do Woody Allen’s. And of course these days so do J K Rowling’s. While purportedly no longer a billionaire due to her charitable donations, the author and philanthropist has still seen huge success in Australia over the years. Books and films aside, the stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had a four-year record-breaking run at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne, with over 1300 performances and over a million tickets sold. It even managed to survive the on-off COVID cancellations, keep many of the cast and crew on JobKeeper, as they’d been with the production for more than a year, and then come back to further success, having rejigged the over five-hour two-parter into a just as popular, albeit slightly more manageable, three-and-a-half-hour affair.

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Madeleine Swain is ArtsHub’s managing editor. Originally from England where she trained as an actor, she has over 25 years’ experience as a writer, editor and film reviewer in print, television, radio and online. She is also currently Vice Chair of JOY Media.