Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to open for previews in London's West End, on June 7th. The two-part play is written by J.K. Rowling, along with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, both of whom also direct the show. The Cursed Child returns to Harry, Ron, and Hermione as adults, with Harry now happily married to Ginny Weasley, and the father to three school-age children (at Hogwarts, naturally). He works as the head of the Auror Division for the Ministry of Magic, while Ron and Hermione are married to each other and working for the Ministry of Magic and as a Lawyer for Magical Law Enforcement, respectively.
Rowling has been hands on throughout the project, especially during the casting process, choosing actors with stage experience but who are still relatively unknown. Now, with just a week to go (at the time of writing) until the cast take to the stage, Rowling has unveiled our first look at the adult Harry, his wife Ginny, and their son, Albus.
Posting on Pottermore, Rowling introduced Jamie Parker (Harry), Poppy Miller (Ginny), and Sam Clemmett (Albus Severus), along with a promise of more cast reveals to come (Ron and Hermione, one would assume). You can take a look at the images (via EW), below.
While the sight of our favorites as adults might take some getting used to, Rowling herself said of Parker "He simply is Harry now. There's a kind of relief in watching him now. He gets it so right." Parker has kept the trademark Harry Potter glasses, though the frames are thinner, and he's also kept that touch of scruffiness that Harry always had about him when played by Daniel Radcliffe in the films; school boy chic, as it were. Given that Ron always looked a good deal more unkempt than Harry, it'll be interesting to see how he looks in his unveiling.
Meanwhile, Ginny looks pretty much as most would have imagined; kindly, mellow, and sweet. Rowling describes her thus: "I think a lot of people would like to have Poppy’s Ginny for a mother. Kind and cool, exactly as I imagined her.” As Albus Severus, Clemmett is a different story altogether. We've never seen this character before (apart from in a brief glimpse to the future at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II), so he could look however suited Rowling. As it is, he seems to look remarkably like the flashbacks we had in the movies of James Potter, Harry's dad. Rowling doesn't comment much on his character, since she says it will give too much away. It is understood that the plot of the play revolves around Albus dealing with the legacy of the Potter family name as he enters Hogwarts - and, anxious to avoid any spoilers, Rowling only says "We couldn't have cast better."
The reveal of Paul Thornley’s Ron and Noma Dumezweni’s Hermione is bound to be a controversial moment, since Dumezweni is black. When her casting was announced, it was met with a mixed reaction but generally speaking, Potterheads seemed to take to it fairly well, supporting Rowling's decision. It will be interesting to see people's opinions when those pictures are released.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child became one of the fastest selling theater shows of all time when more than 175,000 tickets were sold in 24 hours. It's a big investment for fans of either the Wizarding World or live theater; the play is shown in two parts requiring audiences to either attend both a matinee and evening show in one day, or attend over two consecutive evenings, depending on the show's schedule. With over 40 actors making up the cast, it's also a huge undertaking for them as well as the crew, with booking for the play having extended until the end of April 2017. Let's hope Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can continue the Potter legacy with suitable aplomb.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open for previews at The Palace Theatre, London, on June 7th. The book of the script will be published on July 31st.