'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child': Meet The New Stage Versions of Harry, Ron and Hermione

Casting for the upcoming play, featuring middle-aged versions of your favorite wizards, was announced, with opening night set for July 30 at London's Palace Theatre.
Simon Annand
Noma Dumezweni (Hermione), Jamie Parker (Harry) and Paul Thornley (Ron) at the Palace Theatre, London.

Meet Harry Potter. No, not the Daniel Radcliffe version everyone is used to, but the new middle-aged stage version to be seen in the upcoming play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. New versions of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley were also announced.

Say hello to Jamie Parker (that's him in the center of the above picture), currently appearing as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at London’s Savoy Theater. He is a veteran stage actor whose film and TV credits include The Lady in the Van, Valkyrie, The History Boys, The Hour and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Harry, as described in the release announcing the cast, sounds very familiar: “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.”

Noma Dumezweni is playing Hermione. In a departure from the film version played by Emma Watson, Dumezweni is Anglo-African. Having a black actor play Hermione will probably cause considerable debate, but in the end it should be nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. Skin color had nothing to do with what makes Hermione a great character. Dumezweni is currently playing the title role in Linda at the Royal Court Theatre. In addition to an extensive stage resume, her film and TV credits include Dirty Pretty Things, Macbeth, Dr. Who, Summerhill, EastEnders and Fallout.

Paul Thornley is playing Ron. He played the role of Dodge in both the stage and film versions of London Road. He’s currently filming the Crown for Netflix. Other film and TV credits include the new Sacha Baron Cohen film Grimsby, Les Miserables and Life Begins.

In a statement J.K. 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.”

Little is known of the plot beyond this brief synopsis: “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.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, described as the “the eighth story in the Harry Potter series,” begins previews June 7. Opening night is July 30. The play will be presented in two parts to be seen on the same day or on two consecutive evenings at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End.

It is written by Jack Thorne, based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and will be directed by Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett, set designs by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, special effects by Jeremy Chernick, illusions by Jamie Harrison and music supervision by Martin Lowe.

 

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