Initial casting has been announced for the much-anticipated eighth Harry Potter adventure 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', the two-part, JK Rowling co-written stage play that's coming to the West End in summer 2016.
Set 18 years after the end of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', it follows the adventures of Harry, Hermione and Ron as they hit middle age. Donning Harry's specs will be the dashing Jamie Parker – who you can get a sneak preview of in London right now playing the lead in the West End's acclaimed revival of 'Guys and Dolls'. The less well-known Paul Thornley will play Ron. And in what has proven the most controversial piece of casting, Olivier-winning actor Noma Dumezweni will play Hermione.
This last piece of casting has already bagged the show a fair few headlines as inevitably some Potter die-hards have decided that fictional character Hermione Granger *is* white and can therefore only be played by a white woman. There is a lot we could say about this, not least pointing out that this is theatre, which is far less shackled by naturalism than film and telly, and that colourblind casting is the norm in most major institutions (it's certainly a rare Shakespeare play in which the entire cast is white).
But for now we'll say this: these are three very serious actors, and their casting that gets us more and more excited that 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' is going to be a serious – if fun! – piece of theatre.