For those who have seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , it will have escaped precisely no one’s notice that it is merchandise-tastic. Now, Tabard loves a show-themed T-shirt and a souvenir brochure as much as the next person, but the Pottermania here is something else.
Those with their ears tuned to the sound of the commercial juggernaut that is the Harry Potter franchise have managed to make every possible nook and cranny at the Palace Theatre a retail opportunity – there’s a Slytherin house tie, a replica of Hermione Granger’s wand, a plush toy owl, there’s even a Cursed Child-branded Oyster card wallet for the princely sum of £1.95.
But now, someone else has trained their gaze on the cash cow of Harry Potter. Forget chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, this culinary temptation has a more familiar flavour.
US fast-food chicken chain Wingstop, which specialises in chicken wings, is set to open its first UK branch, a two-floor flagship opposite the Palace Theatre, with, according to its bosses, the intention of targeting “pre and post-matinee Harry Potter play theatregoers”. And to be fair, with 1,400 people coming in and out of the Palace on a daily basis, sometimes twice, and often looking to kill a couple of hours between parts, it’s a pretty shrewd move on the part of the Americans.
Tabard is just happy the stage production is no longer using live owls, or else who knows what might have ended up on the menu.
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