The line up of the stage adaptation of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child has been announced and Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley will lead the cast as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
The play that revolves around the trio as adults has been getting varied reactions, especially to the casting of a woman of African origin as Hermione. The casting of Dumezweni, a popular stage actress born of South African parents, fits with the underlying message of the Potter series that has worked to be race-inclusive, with characters of Asian and African heritage playing key roles in the story.
Reacting to criticism over the casting, JK Rowling, the author of the original story, posted on Twitter clarifying that she never actually mentions Hermione's race in the books.
The production's director Jack Thorne wrote the play, which is based on the book by the same name. "While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted," according to the production notes. "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."
While Dumezweni has been at the centre of the casting announcement, many Potter fans also took note of the fact that Paul Thornley, who plays Ron, doesn't sport ginger hair as portrayed by Rupert Grint in the films. To this Thorne explained that Thornley is "ginger in his soul".
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender's Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions and will make its debut in London's West End in the summer of 2016.