If you’ve already making plans to seeing the newly-announced Harry Potter play in 2016, then you might have a shock in store – because the waiting list could be pretty long.
While the Palace theatre in London’s West End can squeeze in around 1,400 people at a time – and popular plays can indeed run for quite a few years – if every Potter fan around the world wanted to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, well, they might not live long enough…
By our calculations, based solely on the 71 million people following Harry Potter’s official Facebook account, the play would have to run for over 120 years for them all to see it once.
Seventy-one million divided by the number of seats in the house gives us a figure of 51,000 performances. The Palace usually puts on one performance a day, with an extra matinee on Saturday and Sundays and Mondays off. 51,000 divided by 8 gives us the 6,375 weeks the play would need to run for to fulfil that quota. Divide by the number of weeks in a year, 52, and the play would have to be on for 122.59 years – let’s call it 122 because those guys are going to need a break at some point.
For comparison, the current West End record-holder is The Mousetrap, which has been running for about 63 years and over 25,000 performances. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would need to more than double this record just to cater to the Facebook slice of its fans.
Of course if a parallel US production was to pop up (which seems likely), it could slash that waiting time to a mere half century.
And look on the bright side – if you join the ticket queue right at the start, you’ll have a lovely gift for your grandchildren…