Magic and Maternity: “Cursed Child” Stars Navigate Career and Pregnancy

When considering all the challenges that come with pregnancy, stepping out onto the stage night after night seems unimaginable. Lucy Goleby, who plays Ginny Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Melbourne, can imagine it, though. She’s done it twice.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Harry Potter on Stage AUS (@cursedchildaus)


Goleby took to the stage as soon as Melbourne’s production began in February 2019, averaging eight shows each week. Though both her role and symptoms were physically demanding, she was determined to continue working. According to Goleby, who recalled her first pregnancy in an interview with the Age, it was an important precedent to set. “I said to [the producers], ‘I don’t think we should try to hide that I am pregnant; we don’t often get the opportunity to see pregnant actors on stage [sic].'”

And indeed, being pregnant and a working actor is no mean feat. Goleby expressed that morning sickness was a constant companion throughout both of her pregnancies. “It turns out pregnancy does not respond to Dr Footlights,” she said, referring to the feeling of wellness some actors say overtakes them during a performance. In Goleby’s case, nausea never waited for the curtains to come down.

Beyond pregnancy itself, Goleby noted further that it was also unusual to see an actor return to the stage after giving birth. This seemed to only echo a frustrating sentiment she was exposed to while studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Art: You can have a career or be a mother, but not both.



Goleby skewered this notion by reprising her role as Ginny when her daughter, Mair, was six months old. Coming back onstage, however, was not without its difficulties. Her costumes, for example, had to be chosen with breastfeeding in mind. She would often use the few minutes she was offstage for this purpose. She recalled a notable performance in which a baby in the audience started crying and the resultant scramble to make sure she wasn’t leaking in response to the sound. She commended the show’s production company, the Michael Cassel Group, for their support of her return. “Everybody was committed to helping me make it work.”

Lucy Goleby exited the now one-part production in the seventh month of her second pregnancy. Reflective of her time as Ginny, and proud of her work, she leaves behind a strong example for actors with families.



She shares this legacy with another Cursed Child star, Sarah Afful, whose maternity leave began September 30. Afful, who plays Hermione in the Toronto production, will be welcoming her second child and currently plans to return to the stage. In the meantime, she will be temporarily replaced by Antionette Robinson. Robinson, who has performed extensively across the United States, is an excellent substitute, having recently starred in the Broadway production of Cursed Child.


Did you know that MuggleNet is 99% volunteer-run? With your monthly pledge of $5, you can provide monetary support to our volunteers while becoming eligible for exclusive swag giveaways!

Support us on Patreon