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'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' shares a magical first look at Hogwarts

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@HPPlayLDN via Twitter

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home — whether on the page, on screen, or on stage.

The first public preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child kicked off Tuesday evening in London, giving lucky theatergoers the first glimpse at J.K. Rowling’s new play. Plot details are being kept tightly under wraps — and Rowling herself released a video this week urging fans not to spoil the story — but the official Cursed Child Twitter account has shared a look at the set (above), showing the actors onstage at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  

Earlier, the production posted portraits of the play’s main characters, including a grown-up Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Draco, as well as their children. (See all of the character portraits here.) In this new photo, Hermione and Ron’s daughter Rose Granger-Weasley, played by Cherrelle Skeete, takes center stage, surrounded by the familiar banners of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. 

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Details about the play’s story are scarce (and we still don’t know the identity of the titular “cursed child”), but the two-part play is based on a new story from Rowling that she developed with playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany. The Cursed Child follows a now-adult Harry Potter and his son, Albus Severus, 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows, and according to the play’s official synopsis, Harry is now an “overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic” and a father of three, grappling “with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs.” Meanwhile, his Hogwarts-aged 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 synopsis reads. 

With previews starting Tuesday, the play will officially debut on July 30, and the script will be released as a book on July 31 — Harry’s birthday.