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‘We’re working on something we love,’ says Cursed Child set designer Christine Jones

Cursed Child set designer Christine Jones
Cursed Child set designer Christine Jones.

Award-winning set designer Christine Jones talks about some of the fantastic spectacles in store for audiences of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two.

We are hurtling towards the opening gala performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two at a rate of knots, and it’s time to celebrate the play’s journey to the stage.

A model box reproduction of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set
A model box replica of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set.

In the coming weeks, Pottermore will go behind the scenes of the play with members of the cast and creative team to learn more about how this remarkable production was put together.

Today we take a closer look at the imaginative and unique set design of the play, as shaped by Tony Award-winning set designer Christine Jones.

Cursed Child set designer Christine Jones talks with the cast
Cursed Child set designer Christine Jones talks with the cast.

Christine admitted the task of taking on something as huge as the eighth Harry Potter story was very emotional, especially when seeing the vast set coming together.

‘I was overwhelmed,’ Christine told us. ‘I didn’t expect to get as emotional as I did. But I think we all have been working on this for over a year and just have so much invested in it.’

‘There’s just this feeling that we’re working with people we love, on something we love, for people we love. And there’s a lot of emotions that have become buried within the fabric on the making of this.’

Cursed Child set designs including staircases, and a large Gothic door
Models from behind the scenes of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Christine has worked on other West End hit shows including Close to You, Spring Awakening and Let the Right One In, latterly with Cursed Child collaborators Jack Thorne, Steven Hoggett and John Tiffany.

In a new video from the Cursed Child production team, we see more of the imaginative designs bringing the play to life. The details both onstage and off are brimming with Hogwarts history. Take a look:

A few of the details have been hinted at in the Palace Theatre's front of house. Anyone who’s walked past the Palace Theatre in London will probably recognise that the hand-carved lantern-holders also have their place on the Cursed Child set .

A lantern-holder from the set of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
A lantern-holder from the set of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two.

It couldn’t be a Harry Potter story without Hogwarts. From the moment we see the rich wooden panelling around the walls of the stage, and the Palace Theatre auditorium’s wallpaper – emblazoned with a triumphant ‘H’ and Sword of Gryffindor motif – it’s clear that the school plays a prominent role in the story.

The production revealed last week that a line from Thomas Wolfe’s You Can't Go Home Again (1940) inspired the look and feel of the stage play:

From what we’ve seen of Christine’s set designs, they’re rich in symbolism and full of detail. We especially love that across the proscenium arch of the theatre you can see the cycles of the moon worked in metal.

A close up of the Cursed Child model box.
A close up of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set model.

Although the video only gives us blink-and-you’ll-miss-them glimpses, Christine’s creations already look exceptionally beautiful. See what other little titbits you can spot.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two is a new play by Jack Thorne based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. It is the eighth Harry Potter story and the first official story to be presented on stage. The play opens at the Palace Theatre on Saturday 30 July.

Now available
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Script eBook