With mere weeks left until its debut, the Harry Potter sequel play has everyone talking. If you haven't kept up to date on the developing story of J.K. Rowling's first play, you might find yourself wondering: who plays Harry Potter in The Cursed Child ? But Potterheads shouldn't fret; The Boy Who Lived is in good hands with Jamie Parker bearing his scar and spectacles.
The Harry Potter Play Twitter account set the wizarding world abuzz on Tuesday morning, when it unveiled new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast photos, featuring Parker — and his fantastically messy hair — standing alongside Poppy Miller (Ginny) and Sam Clemmett (Albus Severus). Previous cast photos showed Parker with Paul Thornley and Noma Dumezweni — The Cursed Child's Ron and Hermione — as well as the full ensemble.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens just after the final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's 2017, and proud parents Harry and Ginny have just sent their youngest son, Albus Severus, to his first year at Hogwarts. Potterheads remember the excitement when Rowling tweeted about Albus Severus' big brother, James Sirius, making his first journey to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters in September 2015. Can you imagine what 2017 will bring?
Although we're all obviously ecstatic at the thought of new Harry Potter material, some fans have questioned just what stories, exactly, Rowling has left to tell. The Cursed Child clearly has some Grawp-sized shoes to fill. After all, what could possibly be as thrilling as seven books full of battles against Voldemort?
The official Harry Potter and the Cursed Child synopsis assures Potterheads that Harry and Albus Severus still have plenty of dark moments ahead of them at the close of Deathly Hallows. From Pottermore:
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.
So we know that The Cursed Child will offer us plenty of intrigue, and maybe even some deep Potter psychology. But what about this Jamie Parker? How do we know he's the right guy to take up Harry Potter's wand?
Parker — shown above looking a lot less Potterific — is a 36-year-old actor, known for originating the role of Scripps in The History Boys. He joined the rest of the cast to appear in the film adaptation of the play. Parker later reunited with fellow History Boys castmate Samuel Barnett in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Barnett and Parker took on the title roles of Tom Stoppard's play.
The new Harry Potter has a few film roles under his belt as well. In addition to playing Lieutenant Werner von Haeften in Valkyrie, Parker appeared as an estate agent in 2015's The Lady in the Van, which starred Maggie Smith in the title role. He also portrayed Grant in the BBC's adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Don't let Parker's clean-cut appearance above fool you. He makes for a haggard Harry, a man haunted by the ghosts of his past, even as he tries to raise a family in relative peace and normalcy.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens at the Palace Theatre London in July. Preview performances begin on June 7.
Image: Courtesy of Charlie Gray