Noma Dumezweni on “Cursed Child” and Her Trip Across the Pond
Noma Dumezweni rocked the world when she made her West End debut as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2016. Now, over a year later, she’s preparing to take to the stage once again when Cursed Child premieres on Broadway!
Dumezweni spoke with BBC News this Sunday at the Stage Debut Awards, where her former castmate Anthony Boyle was nominated. The actress expressed her amazement at Cursed Child‘s success and the public’s reaction to the play:
What I understood for London was that 60 or 65% of the audience were first-time theatregoers because of those [Harry Potter] books. And you go, OK, you’ve read the books, seen the films, and now I love that it’s in script form – all those people with scripts of […] Cursed Child will now go and play those parts in their garden. It’s now there to create your version. So the through line is huge. To go to the theatre, with that percentage of people being first-time theatregoers, that’s phenomenal; it’s quite special, and I’m part of it.
Since there will now be two simultaneous productions of the play running at the same time, quite a few people have asked if there will be any changes to the American version. Dumezweni says she doesn’t know, but she’s excited regardless, and she’s sure the West End production is in good hands:
I went to see the new [London] cast, with Rakie Ayola playing Hermione, and I loved it. I went, ‘Oh my God, they’re doing their own thing’, and within that there were little changes, and I thought, yes, that makes sense. And I said to Rakie, ‘I’m totally stealing some of your stuff because I really enjoy what you do’. But that’s the highest compliment I can give her, as an actress to another actress; I love what she did.
She also had some thoughts regarding the Stage Debut Awards, pointing out that it wasn’t just young actors making their debuts:
We’re all doing our thing; we all started somewhere. I did fringe theatre for so many years, and then I got my first play at the RSC, which was an amazing feeling, but I was 30 and had started acting in my early twenties.
I have been that actor who’s watched peers and thought, ‘God, they’re doing well, I’ll never get there.’ For me, you could say my big West End debut was Cursed Child, but I’m in my 40s, and it’s like, when is that beginning? To acknowledge the beginnings of people is a beautiful thing. I want the Stage Debut Awards to still be here in 20 years seeing how it goes.
You’ve got so many people doing so many different things, and it’s not just London-centric. It’s looking around the country and saying, ‘We are seeing you’, and I’m really excited that this has begun.
We can’t wait for April 22, when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens on Broadway. Make sure to book your tickets on October 12 for a chance to see Noma Dumezweni join other members of the original cast in this brand new production!