Harry Potter fans obey author J.K. Rowling as if she were Dumbledore holding the last supply of basilisk venom antidote (phoenix tears, duh). Part one of the long-awaited play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" launched its preview showings Tuesday night at London's Palace Theatre, and so far, fans seem to be finding it magical. They're also heeding Rowling's request to keep the play's secrets. Mostly. (No spoilers ahead, we don't want Rowling sending in the Dementors.)
On Monday, Rowling appeared in a 30-second video in which she implored those lucky enough to see the sold-out show not to spoil it. And she's doled out little treats along the way. As the preview began Tuesday night, the play's official account tweeted a photo of the opening scene, set at Hogwarts, with banners for each of the four houses on display and Rose, daughter of Ron and Hermione, front and center.
Fans in attendance were given buttons to remind them to #KeepTheSecrets -- though be careful browsing that Twitter hashtag because some fans are hiding spoilers behind it. (Probably Slytherins.) And at least one website does divulge plot points, including two major ones that reportedly had theater fans gasping. That info is out there if you want it, but most of the tweets we saw were plot-concealing, one-fan-to-another raves.
Some plot facts have been revealed, with Rowling's approval. The play tells the tale of the next generation of Hogwarts attendees -- mainly Harry and Ginny's son Albus, Hermione and Ron's daughter Rose, and Scorpius Malfoy, son of Harry's nemesis Draco and some unlucky lady. It takes place 19 years after the events of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," where Harry is now an "overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic," with Albus as the youngest of Harry and Ginny's three children. And Rowling has promised it'll make fans cry.
And there was at least one opening-night blooper, but they always say, don't work with live animals or children.
Fans who can't make it to London will be able to read the play beginning at midnight on Harry and Rowling's shared birthday, July 31, following the official July 30 opening. Official site Pottermore.com notes that a rehearsal edition of the script will come out immediately, with an edited version with extra content to be released in early 2017. Hmm, are we sure Hermione's Time-Turner necklace can't jump us forward instead of backward?