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Hermione was trending on Twitter Monday after it was announced that Black actress Noma Dumezweni was cast as the character in a new Harry Potter play.

Entitled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the play is written by Jack Thorne and the author of the original book series, J.K. Rowling. It depicts the main characters of Harry, Hermione, and Ron – all grown-up and working at the Ministry of Magic. The show doesn’t open until the summer of 2016, but it’s already the fastest selling production in West End history.

The cast was announced last night; alongside Dumezweni will be Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.

J.K. Rowling has already expressed her enthusiasm for Dumezweni’s casting, insisting she never explicitly wrote Hermione as a White character.

Dumezweni spoke out on Twitter last night about her excitement and the attention she’s been getting since the news broke, saying:

However, there were of course trolls who came out of the woodwork, spewing racist comments and discontent that Hermione was being cast as a Black woman.

Still, supporters of all colors were out in droves to express their enthusiasm for Dumezweni.

But who is Noma Dumezweni? Where would we have seen her in the past? And how does this accomplishment stack up with the career moves she’s already blazed for herself?

Here’s five fast facts on this fierce, history-making actress that you should know:

1. She Was Born In Swaziland

Dumezweni was born in 1969 in the small South African country. Her parents are South African and she moved to England as a young child.

2. She’s An Award-Winning Actress

Dumezweni won an Olivier Award for her role as Ruth Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun in 2005. The Olivier has become one of England’s most coveted awards for actors since it was introduced in 1976 at the Society of West End Theatre Awards.

3. She Snatched (& Shined In) Kim Cattrall’s Lead Role In ‘Linda’

Dumezweni got the gig only weeks before the show opened for audiences, as Cattrall canceled at the last-minute. Still, critics say that Dumezweni gave a “knockout” performance that seemingly made audiences indifferent to the fact that Cattrall was originally up for the part. The play, written by Penelope Skinner and directed by Michael Longhurst, follows a middle-aged woman who is now at the height of her career and is re-entering the dating world after years of being a doting wife and mother.

4. She’s Done Numerous Shakespeare Roles Over The Years

Throughout the late nineties and early-to-mid 2000s, Dumezweni played Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra, Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing, and the First Witch in Macbeth.

5. She’s About To Be In The Director’s Chair

Ms. Dumezweni isn’t just a talented actress; she’s about to flex her skills as a director for the first time in a 2016 production of I See You at the British Royal Court Theatre. The play, surrounding a South African student who is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, opens up to audiences for a month-long run next February and March.

SOURCE: The Daily Beast, The Guardian, Time | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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5 Things You Need To Know About Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter’s New Black Hermione  was originally published on