Actress Noma Dumezweni has spoken about the racial abuse she’s received over being cast as the grown-up Hermione Granger in the new Harry Potter play, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’.
The 47-year-old award-winning stage actress was announced as the new Hermione last year, with the show now staging its previews in the West End.
But’s it’s not been an easy ride.
“I’m not stupid, it’s a great story,” she told the Sunday Times.
“I am a black woman who has been given this character called Hermione to play on the stage.
“But actually, we’ve all grown up with the books, with Emma Watson playing her in the films. Imagery is so strong,” she said.
“My name is being tagged into stuff that’s not nice, that’s not nice,” she added about the specific abuse on social media.
“It’s ignorance. It drives me crazy. It’s a limitation. Because this is absolutely a different form.”
Of the universal nature of the character of Hermione, she went on: “Every girl, every walk of life, every race, gets it - how do we go into the world? I want to go into the world the way she does. Am I brave enough to go through what she does?”
The stage show finds Dumezweni as Hermione, Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter and Alex Price as Draco Malfoy, with newcomer Sam Clemmett as Harry’s son, Albus Severus Potter.
The official opening night is on July 30, with the show booked up until well into 2017.
Some tickets were initially being resold for as much as £3000 by scalpers, but the show’s promoters have said that re-sold tickets will no longer be valid.
'Star Wars’ star Mark Hamill recently saw the show, and described it as 'stunning’, adding that 'my goosebumps have goosebumps!’
Image credits: Pottermore