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Harry Potter Play Cast Revealed, Featuring a Black Hermione

See what J.K. Rowling had to say about the casting

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Liam Mathews

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play that will premiere on London's West End in the summer of 2016. On Monday, the show's producers announced the principal cast on Twitter. Jamie Parker will play Harry, Paul Thornley will play Ron Weasley, and Noma Dumezweni will play Hermione Granger.

Dumezweni's casting is notable because she is black, which breaks with tradition, as the character was white in the books and was portrayed in the films by Emma Watson, who is white. Some fans on Twitter reacted negatively to this news, tweeting things like "Not being racist but how can a black woman play Hermione? This play has lost all credibility."

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has a "story by" credit on Cursed Child, supported Dumezweni's casting, tweeting "Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione."

Dumezweni is a Laurence Olivier Award winner who has acted in numerous productions of Shakespeare plays as well as the shows Doctor Who and EastEnders.

The play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is written and directed by Jack Thorne and based on a story by Thorne, Rowling, and John Tiffany. Billed as "the eighth story" in the Harry Potter continuity, the play catches up with the original trio nineteen years after the events of the last novel.

"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," according to the production notes. "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."