Looks like Hedwig will no longer need to break a wing!
But despite rave reviews, one hiccup during the first-ever performance has already called for the production to remove live owls from the show!
During Tuesday night’s debut performance, an owl that was supposed to make a quick flight during a scene failed to return to its handler — and instead escaped into the auditorium!
Since the play is still in its preview stage, producers were quick to scrap the birds. Audiences on Thursday night’s show were greeted with a sign that said “no real birds” were used.
The producers explained their decision in an animal-friendly statement:
“The production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently in its preview stage, with the process designed to allow the creative team time to rehearse changes or explore specific scenes further before the play’s official opening. The owls that were associated with the production were expertly cared for by a team… who ensured the owls’ welfare and enrichment needs were safeguarded at all times.”
PETA applauded the production for “coming to its senses” and “recognizing that treating owls like props goes against every message of respect and kindness that J.K. Rowling’s wonderful books taught us.”
Coincidentally, J.K. Rowling herself stopped by Thursday’s owl-less offering, and we have a feeling she enjoyed the fake birds just as much as the real thing!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which his set 19 years after the Deathly Hallows, officially opens July 30 and runs until May 2017.
[Image via Warner Bros..]