Noma Dumezweni, the black actress who will play Hermione in the Harry Potter stage play later this year, said critics who think she should not have the part are “ignorant”.
The actress told the Standard: “It stems from ignorance. They don’t want to be a part of the creative act. To say it’s not as it was intended is so unimaginative… I don’t think they understand how theatre works. We’re here to heal you, make you smile and whisk you away.”
She added: “The only question we should ask is ‘Are they good?’ I’ve met great actors black and white and I’ve met bad actors black and white.”
In December, Dumezweni was revealed as one of the lead actors in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is set 19 years after the books, along with Jamie Parker as Harry and Paul Thornley as Ron.
Author J K Rowling has already given her the seal of approval to the casting, tweeting “Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione”, as has Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the films.
Watson, who has launched a feminist book club on twitter, said on social media: "Can't wait to see Noma Dumezweni as Hermione on stage this year. #harrypotterandthecursedchild #2016."