‘Cursed Child’ Broadway’s Golden Trio in the Spotlight

Apr 26, 2018

Posted by: Kim McChesney

Actor Interviews, Broadway, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Interviews, Media, Noma Dumezweni, Theater, Trio Interviews

Less than a week after J.K. Rowling and a star-studded list of guests descended on the newly transfigured Lyric Theatre for the official premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, the production and its cast have been basking in the Lumos of the media spotlight. Just moments after the opening night curtain fell, glowing reviews of the New York production began rolling in and the members of Broadway’s Golden Trio have given some high profile interviews including one this morning on NBC’s iconic morning program, The Today Show.

Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley, Cursed Child’s original Harry, Hermione and Ron met with hosts Carson Daly and Savannah Guthrie in the studio to talk about the play’s transfer across the pond, its reception with American audiences and if a Potter newbie would enjoy the show.


After introducing the three actors and the acclaimed play’s arrival on the Great White Way, Guthrie went straight into the length of the two-part production calling it an “endurance test” for the actors. Dumezweni responded:

“In terms of a storytelling thing, you’re letting it go and playing and having a great time.” 

She also chided Parker:

“You got the beast of it with Sam and Anthony!”

The hosts inquired about seeing only one part and Parker said emphatically:

“You don’t want to not see Part 2!”

Daly asked what it felt like to bring the award-winning London show to Broadway, which both Parker and Dumezweni referred to as the “Holy Grail of theater”. All three are obviously thrilled about the opportunity of bringing the play to New York in addition to being, “In a brand spanking new theater they’ve built just for us”, Parker touted.

Guthrie then asked how they would compare American and British audiences. Parker said that initially it felt like a “20-year reunion concert” then both he and Dumezweni deferred to Thornley who said:

“They like laughing and clapping a bit more[….]it’s ideal for Ron Weasley”

To which his stage wife responded in true Hermione-Ron banter:

“And do you know what? Paul likes that clapping”

The trio overwhelmingly concurred that coming into the theater without any prior Potter knowledge – like Daly, who revealed that he’s never read any of the books – would definitely not diminish the experience. You can check out the entire interview from the Today Show below:

Just prior to the premiere Jamie Parker sat down with Esquire reporter Tyler Coates who shared that he went into the preview performance a little skeptical but was brought to tears by the end of the performance which he deems Tony worthy for Parker. Coates was another Muggle unfamiliar with the Potterverse who was embarrassed not to know when Parker asked about his Hogwarts House. Parker confessed that he was in the same position prior to landing the role as the first adult Harry Potter:

“I was definitely a part of that generation,” he tells me. Parker is roughly the same age as Harry Potter. (Parker was born in 1979; in the Potter timeline, Harry was born in 1980.) “I was twelve when I went to boarding school in Edinburgh,” he says. “I had my little round glasses, I used to hang around all of the places where Jo [Rowling] was writing the books. But I was a bit older when [the mania] was properly kicking off, and I slightly missed it.”


Image: Kat Wirsing

Parker convinced Coates to go through his Pottermore sorting and discovers he’s a Slytherin to which Parker said:

“A Slytherin journalist!” he says, “just like Rita Skeeter, with her Quick-Quotes quill. I’ll have to be careful with this one.”

The conversation turns to Parker’s take on playing the world’s most famous wizard 19 years later in comparison to Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry:

“It would be incomplete to take the movies as the source material, because they’re not,” he says. “I don’t think it’s necessarily about being a different version of Harry from Daniel’s Harry, or anybody else’s Harry. I think both of us were trying to draw a straight from the books to whatever we were interpreting.”

And Coates observes this about Parker’s portrayal of the Boy Who Lived and how he fits into this extension of the beloved story:

“It would be incomplete to take the movies as the source material, because they’re not,” he says. “I don’t think it’s necessarily about being a different version of Harry from Daniel’s Harry, or anybody else’s Harry. I think both of us were trying to draw a straight from the books to whatever we were interpreting.”


Image: Kat Wirsing

Parker discussed how Harry handles the challenges of parenting as an adult with a history of childhood trauma:

“You take a child who’s been through this trauma through his most formative years,” he says. “What kind of parent does that create?”

As well as the advice he received from J.K. Rowling going into the role and the emotion inherent in the story that’s shared by a very invested fandom:

“It goes back a long way,” Parker says, “that very old, primordial level. Whatever your demons are—or dementors—it’s very personal for everyone. When you bump into people at the stage door, you see they’ve had a visceral, physical reaction to the show. It’s the same for me, I think. There are a lot of personal conversations that have been provoked by the play, and that’s caught people by surprise.”

Coates wrapped up the interview with two weighty statements:

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might change Broadway forever; Jamie Parker, too, might change what audiences think of Harry Potter.”

The full Esquire article can be found here, and more from Parker on Harry’s journey as a parent can be seen in this video from Broadway World where he explains with profound insight into his character’s past and why:

“You can’t go into parenthood as a battle wearing armour. It doesn’t work that way.”

Noma Dumezweni who originated the role of the adult Hermione Granger Weasley has also had her share of media buzz leading up to and after the premiere. Dumezweni talked recently to Oprah.com when she discussed landing the role as Hermione and meeting Emma Watson. She also gave this very emotional interview earlier this week on what it means personally for her too be making her Broadway debut. She gave this advice to actors but what also seemed like wise words for people in general:

“The majority of people, their expectations of life are limited, mine is limited, has been limited growing up[….]Don’t limit yourself. You just never know when anything’s going to happen.”

Congratulations to Cursed Child’s original Golden Trio on the official beginning of their New York journey. We’ll be watching as they cast their spell on Broadway!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.