Controversy surrounds casting choice for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
In 2013, it was revealed that “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child” had been in development for one year and would be making its stage debut in 2016. It is a two-part stage play written by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany and is based post-epilogue of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series.
Since we last saw the main characters, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, who make up the golden trio, have all entered the adult wizarding world and have had children of their own.
The production focuses on Harry Potter (Jamie Parker) and his youngest son, Albus Severus Potter (Sam Clemmett). Harry is now working for the governing body of the wizarding world, the Ministry of Magic, and Albus is a student at Hogwarts along with his two siblings and many young relatives.
Earlier this summer, the official cast had been announced with professional photos showing the performers, clad with costume and wand.
We will not be seeing all of the faces from the series in the production but will be seeing a select few: Ginny Potter (Poppy Miller), Draco Malfoy (Alex Price), his son Scorpius Malfoy (Anthony Boyle), Ron Weasley (Paul Thornley), Hermione Granger (Noma Dumezweni) and their daughter Rose Granger- Weasley (Cherrelle Skeete).
For the most part, the fan approvals for this cast has been extremely positive. However, controversy had begun the moment it was revealed that Hermione will be played by a person of color. When the series was first published back in 1997, the first movie in 2001 gave readers a chance to visualize the characters Rowling had created. Despite some changes until the series’ finale, it was canonically known that, on the big screen, Hermione Granger was a white witch, very bright for her age, with brown eyes and an air of arrogance.
However, in the books, her skin color was never specified.
According to controversy had begun the moment it was revealed that Hermione will be Pottermore, the website by Rowling herself, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is the eighth part of the story picking up where it left off at the end of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” It is a direct continuation of the books, not the movies, which means the Emma Watson version of Hermione we all know is not included in this.
Rowling has put an end to this feud via Twitter. On June 10, she tweeted, “We found the best actress and she’s black. Bye bye, now.”
The play will be split into a two-part matinee only available at the Palace Theater in London. On Wednesdays and Saturdays there will be a
performance of Part One at 2pm and an evening performance of Part Two at 7.30pm. On Sundays there will be a matinee performance of Part One at 1pm and an evening performance of Part Two at 6.30pm.
On Thursdays there will be an evening performance of Part One at 7.30pm and on Fridays an evening performance of Part Two at 7.30pm. One ticket will get viewers into the theater for both Part One and Part Two on the same day.