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Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley (Photos: Miles Willis/Gareth Cattermole/Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Harry Potter fans should be pretty good at having their expectations challenged by now, given the magical nature of the stories and the willing suspension of disbelief involved in imagining those supernatural events into life.

So, with the announcement of the actors who will be playing the principal trio in J.K. Rowling’s new play Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, it shouldn’t be too hard to overlook the fact that none of them are an exact visual fit for Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson or Rupert Grint (ie. the movie interpretations of those characters) and have a good think about how these new faces will take on the roles of the older Harry, Hermione and Ron.

Jamie Parker plays Harry, after a successful run of West End roles in various productions, including Guys and Dolls, The History Boys (he’s in the film too), High Society and Henry V at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Noma Dumezweni plays Hermione. She’s an Olivier award winning actress (best performance in a supporting role in A Raisin In The Sun), who Doctor Who fans may recognize as Captain Erisa Magambo in the stories “Turn Left” and “Planet of the Dead.”

And Paul Thornley plays Ron. If you saw the movie musical London Road recently, you’ll recognize Paul as Dodge, and he’s also set to appear in the new Sacha Baron Cohen film Grimsby, set for release in March.

The synopsis of the play describes an older Harry facing many of the same problems he always has, even without Voldemort chasing him:

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

“While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

J.K. Rowling says “I’m so excited with the choice of casting for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I can’t wait to see Jamie, Noma and Paul bring the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron to life on stage next summer.”

She also took a moment to address a query about Noma being cast as Hermione, in case anyone was laboring under the misapprehension that she had been written as an exclusively white character:

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child opens on London’s West End in 2016

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By Fraser McAlpine