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The HP source
The UK may be soaked through from the past few weeks of rain, but there’s nothing wet about some of the latest stuff that’s been happening in the West End – apart from the front 8 rows at Singin’ in the Rain.
Now that the Harry Potter films have drawn to their epic conclusion, the studios have this month been opened to the public. The sets include Dumbledore’s office, Diagon Alley, and the Great Hall, all of which were situated at the Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire. Once the three hour tour is over, fans have a chance to purchase all manner of Potter-related replicas, such as a Firebolt broomstick and Professor Dumbledore’s robes.
One of the most spectacular sights has to be the scale model of Hogwarts that was used to film all of the movies’ exterior shots. The model took 86 artists and crew a total of 74 working years to build, and has such tiny details as 2500 lights to simulate torches and students passing down hallways, hinges on the doors, and miniature owls in the Owlery. The model was largely based on Alnwick Castle and Durham cathedral – plus, according to production designer Stuart Craig, “plenty of theatrical exaggeration”!
Summer on the south bank
The National Theatre has announced its summer season this month. The Last of the Haussmans, a new play by Stephen Beresford, runs at the Lyttelton from June 19th. It examines an ageing 1960s high-society dropout and her rebellious family, as they reflect on their days of free love and failure. From July 24th Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemna will also be at the Lytellton, about a Harley Street doctor with a revolutionary but limited tuberculosis treatment.
Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens will be at the Olivier Theatre from July 17th, as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, followed by the return of the extremely well-reviewed London Road from July 28th, and Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo from November 27th, adapted by One Man Two Guvnors writer Richard Bean. Lastly, an adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time will run at the Cottesloe Theatre from August 2nd.
Olympic play confirms West End run
Chariots of Fire has finally confirmed a West End transfer right in time for the Olympics! Running from June 22nd to November 10th at the Gielgud Theatre, hopes are high for the adaptation. Originally a 1981 film, the story followed Eric Liddell and Harold Abraham’s quest to win Gold medals in the 1924 Olympics in the face of prejudice, immovable beliefs and overwhelming odds. The play had previously run just off-West End in Hampstead Theatre from May 22nd to June 16th.
Deal of the month
For the next two weeks, use the code HARRYBLOG to get 5% off packages to see the making of Harry Potter at Leavesden Studios. Just head through the booking process and pop the code in on the payment page!