Melbourne, meet your new Harry, Hermione and Ron. The full 42-member Melbourne cast for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has finally been announced, with a mix of stage and screen veterans drawn from across Australia.
Playing the boy who lived – well, the man who lived, given that Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts – is Gareth Reeves, a New Zealand-born, Sydney-based actor who's worked for Bell Shakespeare extensively and appeared in the Underbelly series and HBO's The Leftovers.
As Harry's two best friends, Hermione and Ron, are Paula Arundell and Gyton Grantley. You probably know Grantley from his TV roles, including House Husbands and as gangster Carl Williams in Underbelly, but he's also had plenty of stage experience.
Arundell is one of our favourite actors, with a huge career in Australian theatres. She recently won a Helpmann Award for her spectacular performance in The Bleeding Tree. Her casting continues a tradition which was started in the original London production, where Noma Dumezweni, a black actor, played Hermione. It caused a fair bit of controversy at the time of the announcement, but JK Rowling approved the casting and told angry Potterheads in a tweet that she'd never specified Hermione's ethnicity.
They're joined by Lucy Goleby as Ginny Weasley and Tom Wren as Draco Malfoy.
The producers have picked relative newcomers as the two young characters who carry much of the show. Sean Rees-Wemyss will play Harry and Ginny's son, Albus Potter. The story kicks off when Albus starts at Hogwarts and befriends Draco Malfoy's son, Scorpius Malfoy, played by William McKenna.
Rounding out the full cast is Iopu Auva’a, Damien Avery, Mike Bishop, Simon Chandler, Clare Chihambakwe, Louis Corbett, Gillian Cosgriff, Manali Datar, Mark Dickinson, Lyndall Grant, George Henare, Soren Jensen, Hamish Johnston, Madeleine Jones, Amanda LaBonté, Debra Lawrance, Kuda Mapeza, Kirsty Marillier, Cle Morgan, James O’Connell, David Paterson, John Shearman, David Simes, Hayden Spencer, Slone Sudiro, Connor Sweeney, Jessica Vickers, and Hannah Waterman.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens at the Princess Theatre on January 16, 2019.