Jamie Parker, the New Harry Potter, Says He Can’t Wait To Get Started


Jamie Parker, the man playing the older Harry Potter in Cursed Child, throws full support behind Dumezweni’s casting as Hermione, can’t wait to get started.

Though the recasting of Harry, Ron and Hermione for the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was supposed to be a major event, Jamie Parker and Paul Thornley’s castings as Harry and Ron respectively were overshadowed by the decision to cast Dumezweni, and make the tumblr concept of the “racebent Hermione” canon. I’ve been hoping to see an interview from the other two, who will also be re-imagining the Golden Trio roles for us, but so far they’ve mostly stayed mum since the casting was announced. Perhaps that is partly due to the show still being in pre-production–rehearsals won’t start for another few weeks yet, and that’s when their re-conceptualizing of these characters and their interpretations will begin to fully form.

Jamie Parker was the biggest name of the three cast for the production, having starred as Scripps in The History Boys both on stage and on screen. This week he finally gave his first interview since being cast as Harry to TheStage.co.uk. He doesn’t say much about his casting as harry, or what we can expect from the production as of yet. Instead he, like all right thinking people, calls the row over Hermione “pointless.”

“In real terms, it’s a debate that is over before it’s even begun. JK Rowling has given her complete support to the production so it’s game over as far as I am concerned. It doesn’t surprise me but it doesn’t depress me and I think we are lucky to have Noma. She is brilliant. I’ve known her for over 10 years and she is a stonking actress who is going to be a brilliant Hermione. I can’t wait to get started.”

He’s also all for the affordable ticket prices for the show–the cheapest tickets for Cursed Child will be going for only £10. Personally though, he thinks theater should be free if it can be. “If you are not getting people who have never been to the theatre before to come then you are not doing your job. I have spent a lot of time working at the Globe, where 700 tickets are £5 a head.”

Also speaking out about Dumezweni’s casting  is the Cursed Child producer Sonia Friedman, who appeared in this weekend’s behind the scenes video shown at the Celebration of Harry Potter. She calls the diversity discussion it sparked “important,” and that it is helping to move their industry forward.

“We were surprised at the amount of coverage but we were also excited by it because it creates an important discussion and it moves our industry forward and it moves the debate forward. There is no question in my mind that when people see this production and see all the casting choices we have made, not just Noma, [they will see] why we have made them.”

Dumezweni herself spoke out about this last month and admitted in her interview many actors of color leave the UK for the US due to the lack of roles. That Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has brought this issue to the forefront means that even if the play itself is a flop by industry standards, it has already done much good work simply in the making of it.

Next: Two Publishers Bidding for Harry Potter & the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child goes into previews in May of 2016. It will open fully at London’s Palace Theater in the West End in July of this year.