Surprise!

New Harry Potter play will feature a black Hermione

An unexpected surprise for Harry Potter fans: the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child musical — which was co-written by J.K. Rowling and is set to premiere in London in the summer of 2016 — has cast a black Hermione. The musical, which tells the story of the original heroes 19 years after the last novel was set, will see 45-year old actress Noma Dumezweni take the role of Hermione Granger, while husband Ron Weasley is portrayed by Paul Thornley, and Harry Potter himself will be played by Jamie Parker.

Dumezweni can already look back on a rich career in theatre, with an Olivier Award for her role in A Raisin in the Sun as a highlight. As always, the response to the news on social media was swift and divided: The majority of people seemed to celebrate the decision, while a few others were eager to criticize the casting choice. The perfect rebuke, however, came from @QueerDiscOx, who tweeted: “I love how Hermione being black is somehow more implausible to some people than a universe where the entire postal system depends on owls.”

https://twitter.com/QueerDiscOx/status/678712712784912384

And of course, it wasn’t long before J.K. Rowling herself weighed in: “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione,” she tweeted, before also retweeting some fan art depicting Hermione as a young black woman.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

Related:

Theater in North Carolina casts their first black Cinderella

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