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First Harry Potter cast photos released

Do Not UseDo Not Use 31/05/2016

The first set of photographs featuring some cast members of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in costume has been released.

Actor Sam Clemmett has been revealed as the character Albus Severus Potter - the cursed child referred to in the title - in Charlie Gray's portraits.

It's also been announced Poppy Miller will take on the role of Ginny Potter - Harry's wife.

Previews of the play begin at London's Palace Theatre on 7 June.

The photos mark the first time Jamie Parker has been seen as Harry Potter, complete with the famous lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.

When asked about Parker's transformation, author JK Rowling said: "He simply is Harry now. There's a kind of relief in watching him, he gets it so right."

Parker said: "It's a unique gig in the sense that you have seven volumes of back story 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."

Clemmett has previously appeared in productions of Lord of the Flies, and Wendy and Peter Pan for the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as in TV dramas such as The Musketeers and Foyle's War.

JK 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."

Albus wears dark Hogwarts school robes in the portraits which give no hint as to which "house" he ends up in.

In the final chapter of book The Deathly Hallows, his character was fearful that the sorting hat would place him in Slytherin.

Miller's film and television credits include Line of Duty and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and she has also appeared on stage in Macbeth and Twelfth Night.

JK Rowling 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."

The Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official story of the franchise to be presented on stage.

The plot sees Harry Potter as a husband and father of three school-age children, with a job working for the Ministry of Magic.

The production's website states: "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."

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one play presented in two parts. Both parts will run in the theatre simultaneously, split between matinee and evening performances.

More photos of the cast members in costume will be released later this week.

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