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Potter play: Ron and Hermione revealed

Do Not UseDo Not Use 1/06/2016

Photos of the actors who play Ron and Hermione in the new Harry Potter play have been released.

Paul Thornley and Noma Dumezweni were photographed in costume in Charlie Gray's portraits.

It was also revealed their daughter, Rose Granger-Weasley, will be played by Cherrelle Skeete - who is pictured in her Hogwarts uniform.

Previews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begin at London's Palace Theatre on 7 June.

Images of Harry Potter, his wife Ginny and their son Albus were released earlier this week.

Skeete has previously appeared in productions of The Lion King and Wind in the Willows, as well as television series Call the Midwife and Danny and the Human Zoo.

"I can't think about how big it is or I'll just faint," the actress said.

"Putting on my uniform, ready to go to Hogwarts, and seeing everyone else in their uniform was exciting. I've been looking at it every day in the wardrobe department, waiting for the day I can get on the Hogwarts Express."

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 casting of Ron and Hermione was announced in December, but the new portraits mark the first time the actors have been seen in costume.

Dumezweni said: "Every time I'm in the auditorium I turn around to people or say to myself, 'I'm in that show, I'm in that show.' I want to see it so much. I am so proud that I am in it."

JK Rowling said: "I saw Noma workshop the part and when [director] John Tiffany told me he'd cast her, I was overjoyed. She gets Hermione inside out."

Referring to the plot of the play, Thornley explained: "It's 19 years later when the play begins. Ron is married to Hermione Granger and they're now the Granger-Weasleys.

"Our magnificent daughter Rose Granger-Weasley is about to start at Hogwarts, which is obviously a big day for everyone."

Ron is seen in a grey-and-orange striped jumper in the photos.

"We had to make it look as though he doesn't really care what he wears in the morning," Thornley said.

"We wanted to find a jumper, that is definitely his favourite jumper, and that I think gets washed occasionally. He wants to essentially be comfortable at all times, hence comfortable cords, comfortable jumper, comfortable shoes. I don't believe he's a man who spends an awful lot of time shopping."

Rowling said: "Ron in his forties isn't very different from Ron in his teens, except that his feet hurt a bit more. Paul's so funny and brilliant in the role."

When the role of Hermione was cast, fans asked Rowling on social media how she felt about Hermione being played by a black actress.

The role was played by Emma Watson in the film series, but Rowling said that the character's race had never been referenced in the books.

Rowling tweeted: "Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione."

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

The final photos of cast members in costume will be released on Thursday.

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