Entertainment

Live owls cut from London production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Producers say they have removed live owls from the new London theatre production after one escaped into the auditorium during a preview.

Barn owls out of work after one escaped into auditorium during first preview performance

After just one preview of the upcoming London stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, live owls have been removed from the production after one escaped into the auditorium. (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Farewell, feathered cast members of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Producers say they have removed live owls from the play after one escaped into the auditorium during a preview.

The barn owl failed to return to its handler during Tuesday's show. Producers said in a statement Friday that "earlier this week the decision was made not to feature live owls in any aspect of the production moving forward."

They said the owls had been "expertly cared for" by trainers and a vet.

Animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the announcement was "a huge relief for all Harry Potter fans who care about animals."

The two-part play, set 19 years after the climax of J.K. Rowling's final Harry Potter novel, officially opens July 30.

The cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, from left: Jamie Parker in character as Harry Potter, Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter and Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter. The London production will continue without the use of live owls. (@HPPlayLDN/Twitter)

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