WhatsOnStage Awards, Best Show Poster: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Brief

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an original new story from J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany which premièred on the West End stage in Summer 2016. It has become an iconic event in the history of Harry Potter and not only does it provide an entertaining and emotional new story, with the same power and resonance a new book would have, but it is also the first time Harry Potter has entered the medium of theatre. The objective was to create an iconic piece of artwork that fits into the history of Harry Potter, which will be used across all promotional and marketing activity, and yet is distinct and highly original for fans and the wider theatre audience. The artwork needed to embody themes of the play, including abandonment, the archetypal story of a child lost in the world trying to find their way, fathers and sons and the power of love, family and friendship.

The Creative Idea

We believed the artwork should be original, symbolic and unexpected to resonate with Potter fans without relying on the distinctive recognisable elements of the Harry Potter world – no jagged lightning bolts, glasses or broomsticks. The photographic image of the ‘cursed child’ in the nest metaphorically reflects the themes of loss and abandonment, and the contrasting illustrative style of the wings adds a sense of magic and adventure, whilst giving the poster a powerful ‘Potteresque’ feel, reminiscent of the iconic golden snitch.