Noma Dumezweni has a brilliant response to critics of her playing Hermione on stage

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child star says it's ignorance that leads some people to claim black actors should not play “white characters”

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Noma Dumezweni, who is playing Hermione Granger in new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has spoken for the first time about her new role and the criticism she has faced from some fans.

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The casting of the black actress as the character previously played by the white Emma Watson, had proved controversial with some of the public, resulting in Harry Potter author JK Rowling defending the choice on Twitter by pointing out she never specified the character’s race and that she “loved” black Hermione.

Dumezweni told the Evening Standard that those who believe black actors shouldn’t play “white roles” are ignorant and entirely missing the point of theatre.

“It stems from ignorance. They don’t want to be a part of the creative act. To say it’s not as it was intended is so unimaginative.

“I don’t think they understand how theatre works. We’re here to heal you, make you smile and whisk you away. The only question we should ask is ‘Are they good?’ I’ve met great actors black and white and I’ve met bad actors black and white.”

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 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens from May