Though live owls were originally intended to be used in the production of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," they have since been removed from the show after an incident where one owl -- which was supposed to make a short flight during a scene -- did not return to its handler and escaped into the auditorium. According to The Hollywood Reporter, attendees have been greeted with signs that read "no real birds" in subsequent preview showings.
The producers have issued a statement about the issue, which reads: "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 of certified trainers and an on-site specialist veterinary surgeon (Steve Smith, Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) who ensured the owls' welfare and enrichment needs were safeguarded at all times. This was of utmost importance to the production."
Written by Rowling and Jack Thorne, “Cursed Child” picks up just after the epilogue of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” where an adult Harry waves off his children at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” opens July 30 at the Palace Theatre in London.