The First Cast Photos From ‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’ Show The Beloved Wizard All Grown Up

It’s official: Harry Potter is back! The proof is in these new cast photos for The Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne’s upcoming play which follows Harry in adulthood, along with his wife Ginny and their unfortunately-named son Albus. I know he’s named after Dumbledore, but that doesn’t make it right.

The Cursed Child previews next week in London and debuts July 31. Jamie Parker appears as adult Harry, Poppy Miller as Ginny, and Sam Clemmetts as Albus. They’ll be joined by Noma Dumezweni as Hermione and Paul Thornley as Ron. (Incidentally, Dumezweni’s casting raised a lot of controversy when it was announced, because some people were angry that Rowling had dared to approve a black actress for a character she’d created. If Rowling herself is fine with an actress of color, I think the racists need to let that one go.) Although plot specifics haven’t been revealed, the synopsis on the play’s official website hints at family tensions and a midlife crisis for everyone’s favorite wizard:

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.

I’m guessing Albus is also struggling with the fact that his parents named him Albus, especially since his siblings, James and Lily, have normal human names. Sorry, folks. I just can’t get past it.

What also stands out from that synopsis is Harry’s job: “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.” Is it meant to illustrate the disappointment of adulthood? You’re the chosen one, the Boy Who Lived! You have a great destiny… in public sector middle management. Then again, there don’t seem to be any other employers in the wizarding world (unless you count Hogwarts), which raises the question of why Harry didn’t secure employment there. Based on Dumbledore’s job performance, administration skills clearly aren’t a prerequisite for the headmaster position, and the turnover of Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers — not to mention the unchecked rise of Tom Riddle/Voldemort — suggests that no one is even doing background checks over there. Harry could have waltzed in with, “I’m HARRY POTTER, ya wankers!” and they would have hired him right away.

I doubt the play is going to dwell on that. My guess is that it’ll focus on issues like aging and inheritance, particularly relevant to fans who started out with the series as children and are now adults themselves. Or in other words: accio adulthood!