Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

Stage Flame Effects

We have had a long-standing arrangement with Hogwarts since the first theatre production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in the West End and have helped the productions practise their magic ever since.

Client: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child Theatre Productions (Toronto & Tokyo)

Product/Project: Stage Flames

Date: 2022

The use of stage flames is a central part of the theatre productions and during 2022 we provided two further systems to the new global shows which opened their doors at the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto and the TBS Akasaka Act Theatre, Tokyo.

Here we talk with Luminous Director and Project Lead, Edwin Samkin, about our involvement and aspects of the Luminous design and build which has pushed the boundaries in flame SFX technology.


In a year which saw the 6th and 7th global openings, and audience numbers now ranking over 3 million, that is a huge number of flame effects being fired! Tell us about the flame systems Luminous supply.

We supply a comprehensive flame package for the theatre productions that includes custom liquid and gas flame jets, a practical real-flame fireplace, specialist handheld props and an extensive networked safety system with wireless controller. Further to this we prepare safety documentation, oversee on-site commissioning and provide ongoing technical support.

What design or build features really stand out for the productions?

For us it was always the requirement that the liquid flames had to be mounted on scenery that was automated to track on and off stage. These products deliver a 10m flame jet across the stage in an emphatic fashion which is no small feat. This presents obvious challenges with how to supply power and getting a high-pressure nitrogen feed to each product. This was further compounded by the limiting requirement that the product enclosures could not exceed 125mm in depth. No system on the open market was less than 250mm so this was a very challenging brief. One of our design engineers managed to solve with the final solution coming in at 124mm!

How do the systems adhere to the country specific safety requirements?

One of our core value drivers for this project is our Luminet Flame Enable System. This product is produced specifically to provide users a safety critical device to prevent the misfiring of the flames. It offers a global E-Stop to immediately stop all systems but also a user-friendly touchscreen control panel with real time data fed back to display flame system pressure, temperature of surrounding scenery and whether a local Estop has been engaged/disengaged. This provides less experienced users a convenient location side of stage where they can monitor all systems in the theatre and enable or disable as required based off the live information they can see. This product has been an instrumental tool in achieving safety approvals across multiple countries.

Were there any differences between the two systems?

Our challenge has always been the aim to provide a consistent set of equipment across multiple territories which all inevitably have their nuances. Simple things like ensuring all our hardware is compatible with different voltages has been intrinsically designed in. More significant that this is satisfying local safety standards and licensing laws. In Tokyo we had to break completely new ground to achieve the approvals we needed for the use of flames close to an audience controlled with a wireless system. This ambitious goal was achieved, being the first of its kind in a Tokyo Theatre.

What training do you put in place with the local technical crew?

We do our very best to design in user simplicity but these are a hugely complex set of special effects systems. Typically, the maintenance and operating team are relatively new to these types of products so although very detailed operating manuals and procedures are well documented, we have always provided an onsite consultant to oversee installation and training.

What is your favourite part of the show?

A magician never gives away his secrets but the illusions in the show are phenomenal and require multiple departments to come together to deliver them. The integration of SFX, sound, lighting and automation are integral in achieving the ambitions set out by the fantastic illusions team behind the Magic. Of course, our SFX system contribute to some of the most spectacular moments the audience experiences.


Contact us to discuss the huge variety of technologies which can be used to create effects on stage.