The cast for the upcoming stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has been announced and all eyes seem to be on Noma Dumezweni, the Swaziland-born actress cast as Hermione Granger.
Dumezweni, born in 1969, was raised in England and boasts an impressive acting resume, having won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for her part in A Raisin in the Sun. While her casting may come as a surprise to viewers who are accustomed to seeing Emma Watson in the role, J.K. Rowling has expressed her delight in the casting of the two-part play.
Talking to Pottermore, Rowling said:
I’m so excited with the choice of casting for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I can’t wait to see Jamie, Noma and Paul bring the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron to life on stage next summer.
While Hermione is described in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as having a "bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth," her ethnicity is never explicitly stated, only assumed, and this assumption was cemented with the casting of Emma Watson. However fans have embraced the casting of Dumezweni, sharing their excitement on Twitter:
Alongside Dumezweni will be Jamie Parker, 36, as Harry, and Paul Thornley, 40, as Ron, with supporting cast members to be announced at a later date. The play, written by Jack Thorne and to be directed by John Tiffany, will be based on an original story by Rowling, Thorne, and Tiffany.
The synopsis, released on the play's official website, follows as such:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
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. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.