No worries, Ms. Rowling: the secrets of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won’t be revealed here. What will be revealed, however, is how audiences reacted to the first preview of the much-anticipated two-part play.
Set 19 years after franchise finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the West End play sees the story continue with Harry Potter, now an employee of the Ministry of Magic, grappling with past events that won’t stay where they belong. The play also follows his young son Albus as he struggles with inheriting a family legacy that he never asked for.
Part 1 of the story previewed on June 7th, while Part 2 concluded the play on June 9th. The anticipation for this story has been feverish, with the play’s official script book already listed as the number 1 bestselling book on Amazon, despite not being available for another three weeks.
So, what say audiences of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
They loved it.
Joe Utichi from Deadline reported that the audience was more lively than those of typical West End productions, prone to audible gasps and bouts of spontaneous applause for the play’s more noteworthy moments. Highlights included the on-stage magic effects, the ingenious set design, the fantastic and faithful portrayal of the series’ familiar characters, and the welcome addition of the younger cast. Audiences weren’t daunted by the 2-1/2-hour runtime of each part, eager to gobble up 5+ hours of new Harry Potter.
The day before before the play began previews, author JK Rowling released a video message pleading with theatre-goers to keep a lid on any potential spoilers. “Let audiences enjoy Cursed Child with all the surprises that we’ve built into the story,” she said. Indeed, even the preview’s tickets were emblazoned with the hashtag #KeepTheSecrets in golden text. Thus far, media outlets have respected Ms. Rowling’s wishes — a rarity in these days of spoiler-heavy, clickbait news articles.