There’s a lot of buzz around the upcoming play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – and there are a couple of faces in there that Doctor Who fans will be familiar with.
The headline-maker right now is Noma Dumezweni, who played Captain Erisa Magambo in Turn Left (2008) then reprised that role – this time in the normal Doctor Who universe – the following year in Planet of the Dead. Why’s she making headlines? Because she’s playing Hermoine Granger, a character previously played on-screen by Emma Watson.
Harry Potter author, JK Rowling (who was once rumoured to be writing an episode of Doctor Who) batted away prejudices by saying:
“Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”
And that’s how we should approach the play, I feel. We know she’s a good actress. Rowling went on:
“I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”
I would add, however, that some of the trouble might stem from people thinking the play is a continuation of the movies, but it’s not supposed to be; it’s a new production, directed by John Tiffany, and written by Jack Thorne, based on a tale by Rowling.
Another face you might recognise is Alex Price, who plays Draco Malfoy. He’s looking suitably menacing so far, despite the cowardice he showed in that final battle at Hogwarts.
Doctor Who fans will know Price from 2010’s The Vampires of Venice in which he played Francesco (the only male Saturnyne we saw), but he also narrated Doctor Who Confidential Series 5. And Draco, for this two-part production, has a son: Scorpius Malfoy (Anthony Boyle)… which sounds too “bwa-ha-ha” for my liking. We’ll know his true inspiration if he asks the audience if they’ve ever seen a guy say goodbye to a shoe.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open at London’s West End Palace Theatre on 30th July.
Featured photos by Charlie Day.