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Black actress to portray Hermione in Harry Potter stage play

NEW ROLE: Noma Dumezweni

A BLACK actress will play Hermione Granger in the stage adaptation of the iconic Harry Potter franchise.

Noma Dumezweni will take on the iconic role in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child when it opens at London’s Palace Theatre in the summer next year.

The eighth instalment is described as the next chapter in Harry’s story and will see the famed boy wizard, played by History Boys star Jamie Parker, while Paul Thornley will take on the role of Ron Weasley.

The news that Olivier Award-winning actress Dumezweni will play the lead female role veers away from the film adaptation, which sees white actress Emma Watson play the role.

The 45-year-old actress was born in Swaziland, to South African parents. She then came to England with her family as a child, first living in Suffolk, where she was educated, before moving to London.

Author of the series J.K Rowling is said to be pleased with the actors selected to play the heroic trio.

"I'm so excited with the choice of casting," she said in a statement for Pottermore. "I can't wait to see Jamie, Noma and Paul bring the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron to life on stage next summer."

There has always been speculation about Hermione’s race with man fan based adaptations re-imagining the heroine to be mixed race.

In the book, while no specific mentions are made, descriptions of Hermione refer to her having “lots of bushy brown hair”.

One passage reads: “They were there, both of them, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor - Ron looking incredibly freckly, Hermione very brown, both waving frantically at him.”

The casting decision has been welcomed by most, but a small section of Potter fans have argued that it is a deviation too far from the original plot.

Author Rowling stepped in to mediate writing: “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.”

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