Harry’s back! Curtain rises on ‘Cursed Child’ previews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script

Theatergoers got their first glimpse of Harry Potter’s universe 19-plus years after the downfall of Lord Voldemort on Tuesday as the first preview performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part One was staged at London’s Palace Theatre.

Billed as the eighth Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two follows a middle-aged Harry as “an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, husband and father.” According to the play’s official synopsis:

“While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

The New York Times reports the play picks up where Deathly Hallows left off: on Platform 9 3/4, with Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron seeing their own children off to Hogwarts, then jumps ahead a few years for the bulk of the action.

The Times and other reviews, like those on MuggleNet and The Telegraph, have been careful not to give away too many details beyond general impressions and some description of the staging. Between the story itself and on-stage special effects, those impressions can be summed up in a word: magical. (And that’s just for Part One. No one has seen the conclusion yet, since Part Two’s first preview performance is Thursday.)

By and large, fans who saw the first show have been tight-lipped about the plot – perhaps in part due to a plea from author J.K. Rowling herself to “keep the secrets” and not ruin the story for others.

(Which isn’t to say you can’t find any spoilers online – for instance, Hypable offers select details about a few characters in its Potter coverage).

For anyone (let’s face it, probably the vast majority of Potter fans) who can’t make the trip to London to see the play, the rehearsal script will be available in book form promptly at midnight on July 31 – which is hours after the play officially opens on July 30 – and the definitive collector’s edition of the script will go on sale in early 2017. Barnes and Noble has already announced release parties for the rehearsal script at stores nationwide, and independent booksellers around the country are sure to be gearing up for the release, too.

Until then, you can check out a few Rowling-approved teasers on Pottermore, which last week released official photos of Harry and Ginny Potter and their second child, Albus; Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and their daughter, Rose Granger-Weasley; and Draco Malfoy with his son, Scorpius. The play’s official Twitter account has been offering glimpses of the set, props and rehearsals, including this photo released shortly after the first performance started Tuesday:

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About Amanda Keim-Morrison

Amanda Keim-Morrison brings updates about J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world to Nerdvana. She's a former East Valley Tribune reporter and State Press editor; she now lives in Minnesota, where she's been a writer, web producer and editor and currently works on the tech side of several news sites. Amanda is a Ravenclaw at Hogwarts, a Horned Serpent at Ilvermorny and has a white stallion for a Patronus.