London — Producers of the adaptation play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, announced three members of the main cast yesterday, with Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley as the now grown up trio of wizards: Harry, Hermione and Ron. The casting of a black actress as the heroine of Rowling’s saga has caused controversy between internet surfers.
The play follows the story of an adult Harry Potter working for the Ministry of Magic while being a husband and father of three children. He, along with his son Albus, must confront the present and the past and “learn the uncomfortable truth” that sometimes, darkness comes from where you least expect it.
Rowling commented on how excited she was about the new casting, saying she couldn’t wait to see Parker, Dumezweni and Thornley bring the characters to life next summer. But despite the author’s approval and the anticipation of fans, the criticism towards Hermione’s casting choice has been noticeable, as some have frowned upon a black woman playing the role that Emma Watson, a white actress, portrayed on Harry Potter’s movie saga.
“Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione,” the author bluntly responded to criticism on her twitter account. “Canon” being a code word in fiction for information officially stated by the author inside the universe of a given story.
“If all of this teaches us anything, it’s that change in our world won’t come easy — but that people in power are finally making an effort to make the world of our imagination look more like the world we actually live in,” posted African-American writer Shaun King on New York Daily News.
Dumezweni has a noteworthy repertory, following her participation in various British productions with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and having won an Olivier Award for her role on 2005’s play of “A Raisin in the Sun.”
The stage play of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was written by Jack Thorne and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions, and it’ll be premiered next year at London’s Palace Theatre.
The rest of the cast is yet to be announced.
Source: Los Angeles Times