It’s been a long road to the first public performance of the highly-anticipated new Harry Potter play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but the opening night of previews finally arrived today in Jolly Ol’ England. Fans have scrambled to buy tickets and book their flights from all over the world to catch the next chapter of Potter’s story in person, much speculation has been made over the few casting announcements revealed, and it attracted its fair share of controversy before the first actor even hit the stage.
JK Rowling is pleading with audience members to #KeepTheSecrets of the play so that fans everywhere don’t get spoiled on the plight of the titular cursed child or the general plot. At least until the book version of the story is released on Harry’s birthday at the end of July. While that may be a difficult ask for many people (how long until we get an abridged version of the play’s events popping up on fan forums or Reddit?), the show’s official Twitter account is attempting to assuage some of that overflowing anticipation with a sneak peek one of the play’s sets. They tweeted out a look at the Hogwarts set as the first performance began, and it more than satisfies.
While it isn’t identical to the Hogwarts sets from the film series or how Rowling described it originally in the books, how could it be? 19 years have passed between Harry leaving Hogwarts to live happily ever after with Ginny and the events taking place in the play, and it’s not like the school of witchcraft and wizardry never redecorates. The house banners are more theatrical and bright here, and the walls look more like those that belong to a New England private school rather than a wizarding school nestled in the hills of Scotland.
Other than that, the costumes and the layout look exactly as we’ve been imagining them for the last 20 years ever since the first book came out. Seeing students in their robes again and the four banners hanging exactly where they belong brings us right back to the excitement of cracking a new book and finding out that Slytherin students are still just as slimy as ever or that Ravenclaws sometimes make for questionable romantic partners. Even though the stories many twists are still very much under wraps, this single picture has our imaginations working in overdrive thinking up all the possibilities as to where the Potter universe could take us next. Do you have your plane tickets booked so you can find out for yourself in person on The West End?
(via The Hollywood Reporter)