Amongst London’s bustling muggle-filled streets, magic resurfaced on Saturday afternoon at the city’s grand Palace Theatre. Behind walls of impenetrable black hoardings lay a secret red carpet, securely guarded at its borders, not unlike the prison periphery of Azkabhan.
Here, in the core of Theatreland, only a lucky and chosen few were permitted entry to the official Opening Gala of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
In this, the eighth Potter installment, dark magic was rumored to be lurking behind the theater walls. Some young guests were seen readying their wands as they cautiously approached the theater doors; poised, able and willing to defend themselves from unexpected attack.
Producers Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman joined Rowling, helmer and scribe, John Tiffany and fellow scribe Jack Thorne, to greet fans and field questions from awaiting media.
Accompanied by her husband, Neil Murray, Rowling mingled along the carpet’s edge with her ever-excitable and familiar fandom, the lead trio absent from the pre-show fanfare as they prepared for their curtain call within.
Asked if the fan expectation made her wary of the venture, Rowling revealed, “It was daunting. I think I’ve got three offers a week for the last decade to do a musical or a play, or an ice show or an opera – you name it, I’ve been asked to do it! It wasn’t until I met Sonia Friedman that I thought; ‘This is the one, this could really work.’”
With the production anticipated to fly west to Broadway next, Rowling clarified her sights were set on numerous global shores, “I’d love it to go wider than that. I’d like as many Potter fans to see it as possible,” she announced.