By Melissa Chan
June 7, 2016

Harry Potter fans widely praised the first half of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the much-anticipated two-part play in the saga created by J.K. Rowling, which opened for previews in London’s West End on Tuesday.

Most of the viewers adhered to Rowling’s earlier request to “keep the secret” and not post any spoilers on social media, but some who couldn’t help but share their reactions on Twitter were at a loss for words at the end of the secret-shrouded play. At least one audience member called it “spellbinding” and “spine chilling,” with others calling it “magical.”

“Holy. Mother. Of God,” one fan tweeted.

“So. #CursedChild part one was. Er. Wow. Er. Wow. So,” another said.

The eighth installment of the beloved Harry Potter series was written by J.K. Rowling and brought to the theater by playwright Jack Thorne and the play’s director John Tiffany. Rowling said the published play would be available to everyone on July 31.

The story picks up 19 years after the end of the original series, with a grown-up Potter working in the Ministry of Magic and his son, Albus, stepping into the wizarding world for the first time.

The play features live owls, according to some social media users who said they witnessed a technical snafu in which one of the birds “got loose” and flew around the theater.

The second part of the play debuts at the Palace Theater on Thursday. The official opening night is July 30.

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