We’re just a week away from the first preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two and today we are thrilled to share character portraits of Harry, Ginny and Albus Severus Potter, as they will appear in the play.
When asked about actor Jamie Parker’s transformation, J.K. Rowling said: ‘He simply is Harry now. There's a kind of relief in watching him, he gets it so right.’
With Jamie is Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter, and Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter.
Poppy has previously appeared on stage in productions of Macbeth and Twelfth Night, while her film and TV work has included roles in Line of Duty, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
While Sam has appeared in productions of Lord of the Flies, and Wendy and Peter Pan for the Royal Shakespeare Company and you may also have spotted him on your TV screens in The Musketeers and Foyle’s War.
As well as confirming more of the Cursed Child cast, these wonderful photos give us so much to be excited about: this is the first time we’ve caught a glimpse of Jamie with Harry’s legendary scar; the first time we’ve seen Harry, Ginny and Albus together and the first time we’ve seen Katrina Lindsay’s costume designs and hair and make-up designs by Carole Hancock.
It might seem almost strange to see Harry Potter without his trusty Hogwarts robes, but Jamie took us through Harry’s more grown-up attire.
‘He’s wearing a suit because he’s a Ministry man, but he’s not just a bloke in a suit, that’s way too anonymous,’ Jamie explained. ‘And it sounds strange but we talked around a lot of different suits, because there are suits and suits, and a lot of them we put on and we went “Mmm it’s just not right”.
‘With all the character’s costumes we want them to be instantly familiar when people see them, so that people feel like the story’s safe in our hands, and that we’re taking that responsibility seriously.’
Speaking of instantly familiar, how did Jamie feel donning the world-famous scar and glasses?
‘They’re just iconic. These are stories that people have lived with for their whole lives, they’ve grown up with and now they’re adults re-joining the tale, picking it up where they left off and I’m one of them. In a sense you don’t need more than the scar and the glasses, you kind of go, “there it is” and I don’t really know how to put it into words, it’s just immeasurably exciting and I can’t wait to show it to people.’
‘It’s a unique gig in the sense that you have seven volumes of backstory that you get to bring on with you. And we were all very keen to make sure that the first time you see Harry it just feels right.’
Poppy Miller was thrilled with her new look as Ginny Potter (née Weasley). ‘So far I’ve had a fabulous haircut and, as this is Ginny’s hair, it’s obviously red and quite sleek,’ Poppy explained. ‘I also get to wear a gorgeous, hand-knitted jumper. I think of it as a really tasteful Pygmy Puff.’
J.K. Rowling was just as happy to see Poppy in character. She said: ‘I think a lot of people would like to have Poppy's Ginny for a mother. Kind and cool, exactly as I imagined her.’
Hogwarts robes at last. Sam Clemmett told us he was sure Albus’s robes were hand-me-downs from his character’s elder brother.
‘This is what Albus wears at the start of the show,’ he said. ‘I had the idea he was wearing James’s – his older brother’s – hand-me-downs. So I wanted him to feel quite uncomfortable, and be able to play with his clothes.’
Ever conscious of keeping the secrets, J.K. Rowling said: ’There's much I could say about Sam-as-Albus, but we'd be into spoiler territory so quickly I'll just say we couldn't have cast better.’
Well, this is all rather exciting. And, as Poppy shares, the production of Cursed Child continues to deliver amazing surprises for the cast too.
‘We are very excited about sharing the play with everyone who is coming,’ Poppy said. ‘All of us are seeing things every day, what other people are doing for the first time on stage, that’s making us squeal with excitement. So, bring it on!’
We couldn’t agree more.
This week, Pottermore will reveal new images of some of the other characters from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two. Come back tomorrow to see more beloved wizarding characters and the actors behind the roles.