Noma Dumezweni (born 28 July 1969)[1] is a South African-British actress. In 2006, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for her performance as Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.[2] In 2017, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Hermione Granger in the original West End run of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; she reprised the role for the show's original Broadway run and, in 2018, was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Noma Dumezweni
Dumezweni in a 2018 Tony Awards video
Born (1969-07-28) 28 July 1969 (age 54)
  • British
  • South African
Years active1990s–present
AwardsLaurence Olivier Award

Personal life edit

Born in Mbabane, Swaziland (present-day Eswatini) in 1969 to South African parents, Dumezweni lived in Botswana, Kenya and Uganda. She arrived in England as a refugee on 17 May 1992 with her sister and mother.[3] She first lived in Felixstowe, Suffolk, where she was educated,[2] before moving to London.

Career edit

Theatre edit

Early work edit

Dumezweni's work in theatre includes: President of an Empty Room and The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other[4] at the National Theatre, London;[5] A Raisin in the Sun for the Young Vic at the Lyric Hammersmith, London[6] (for which she won her first Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role);[7] A Midsummer Night's Dream,[8] The Master and Margarita,[9] Nathan the Wise[10] and The Coffee House at Chichester Festival Theatre, Six Characters in Search of an Author in the Chichester Festival production at the Gielgud Theatre[11][12] and The Bogus Woman[13] at the Traverse and the Bush.

Royal Shakespeare Company edit

Dumezweni performed in the 2014 Macbeth with Anthony Sher as the First Witch.[14] In 2002, she played Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra[15] and Ursula in Much Ado About Nothing[16] for the RSC. In 2006, she performed in Breakfast with Mugabe.[17]

She returned to the RSC in 2009-11. In spring of 2009 she appeared in the RSC's The Winter's Tale.[18][19][20] She also played Olyana in The Grainstone, Calphurnia in Julius Caesar,[21] the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Morgan Le Fay in Le Morte d'Arthur, the Doctor in Little Eagles,[22] and Alice in Adelaide Road.

Other theatres edit

In 2012, she played Rita in Belong at Royal Court Theatre.[23] In 2013, she played Mistress Quickly and Alice in Henry V starring Jude Law at the Noël Coward Theatre. At Royal Court, she played Mrs. Twit in The Twits, a stage adaptation of the story by Roald Dahl of the same name.

In 2013–2014, she appeared in A Human Being Died That Night at the Fugard Theater in Cape Town, the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, which later transferred to the Hampstead Theatre in London.[24] In 2015, the show moved to Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and she was lauded for her "impeccable performance".[25] She starred in Linda at London's Royal Court Theatre in November 2015, stepping into the role vacated by Kim Cattrall with a few days' notice before press night. Awarding the production five stars, the Daily Telegraph's chief theatre critic Dominic Cavendish wrote: "If they can bottle and mass-produce whatever it is that Noma Dumezweni has got then, please, I want to order a life-time's supply."[26] In 2014, she played Hippolita in 'Tis Pity She's A Whore at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.[27] In 2015, she played Don José in Carmen Disruption, an adaptation of Georges Bizet's Carmen.[28]

In December 2015, it was announced that Dumezweni had been cast as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.[29] On the announcement, theatre critic Kate Maltby described her as "an actress who consistently engages and enthrals."[30] The casting of the black Dumezweni as Hermione sparked fervent discussion, to which J. K. Rowling responded that Hermione's skin was never specified as white.[31][32] In 2017, she won her second Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role.[33] Because of her performance in the role, Dumezweni was listed as one of BBC's 100 women during 2018.[34] She reprised her role on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre in 2018.[35]

In 2022, she played Nora Helmer in Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2.[36]

Television edit

Dumezweni appeared on numerous television shows, and in 2018, she starred in Black Earth Rising, the Hugo Blick drama about the prosecution of war criminals. She played the marine biologist Fiffany in the HBO Max comedy series Made for Love (2021–2022).[37]

In 2020, she appeared in the HBO series The Undoing alongside Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland.[38] The series received several nominations at the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards.[39] She plays Haley Fitzgerald, a powerhouse attorney hired by a wealthy New York psychotherapist (Kidman) to represent her husband (Grant), a pediatric cancer doctor who has been charged with the brutal killing of his mistress.[38] This role enabled Dumezweni to reach an American audience thanks to the success of the series.[40]

In 2022, Dumezweni appeared in the Netflix series The Watcher as the private investigator hired by the Brannock family, Theodora Birch.[41]

Film edit

Dumezweni has had several roles in feature films, including Miss Penny Farthing in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns in 2018. In 2019, she played Edith Sikelo in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, directed by and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor. She played Dionne Davis in Peter Hedges' large ensemble drama The Same Storm and critic Stephen Farber wrote, her "powerhouse performance strikes the right mournful but modestly hopeful note as we exit the theater."[42] She was in Disney's live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid as Queen Selina, the adoptive mother of Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) and a new character created for the film, and joined Liam Neeson in the cast of the film Retribution.[43][44]

Acting credits edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Dirty Pretty Things Celia
2018 Mary Poppins Returns Miss Penny Farthing
2019 The Kid Who Would Be King Mrs. Lee
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Edith Sikelo
2021 The Same Storm Dionne Davis
2023 The Little Mermaid Queen Selina
Retribution Angela Brickman
TBA The Friend[45] Filming

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Holby City Hannah Keelan 1 episode
2005 Silent Witness DS Erin Jacobs 1 episode
The Bill Building Society Manager 1 episode
2006 Mysterious Creatures Chanelle Pinkerton Television film
Holby City Hesta Mukaka 1 episode
After Thomas Paula Murray Television film
2007 Shameless Mrs. Newman 1 episode
Fallen Angel Carla 1 episode
New Tricks Sophie Oyekambi 1 episode
EastEnders D.C. Wright 1 episode
2008 The Last Enemy Valerie 1 episode
Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic Marchessa Television film
Fallout Joyce Abena Television film
2008–2009 Doctor Who Captain Erisa Magambo 2 episodes
2012 Casualty Marsha Chilcot 2 episodes
2013 Frankie Angie Rascoe 6 episodes
2015 Midsomer Murders Ailsa Probert 1 episode
Capital Greaves 2 episodes
Casualty Susan Blossom 1 episode
2017 Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams Senior Agent Okhile 1 episode
2018 Black Earth Rising Alice Munezero Main role, 7 episodes
2020 Normal People Gillian 1 episode
The Undoing Haley Fitzgerald Miniseries, 4 episodes
2021 Nature Narrator 1 episode
Pose Tasha Jackson 1 episode
2021–2022 Made for Love Fiffany Main role
2022 The Watcher Theodora Birch Main role
2023 Best Interests Dr. Samantha Woodford 3 episodes
Only Murders in the Building Maxine 2 episodes
2024 Presumed Innocent Judge Lyttle Upcoming miniseries
TBA Murderbot Mensah Filming

Stage edit

Year Title Role Theatre
2002 Antony and Cleopatra Chairmian Theatre Royal Haymarket
2008 The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other Royal National Theatre
2014 Henry V Mistress Quickly/Alice Noël Coward Theatre
2016–2018 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Hermione Granger Palace Theatre
Lyric Theatre
2022 A Doll's House, Part 2 Nora Helmer Donmar Warehouse

Radio edit

In radio, she has appeared in Jambula Tree, Seven Wonders of the Divided World, From Fact to Fiction,[46] From Freedom to the Future, Handprint,[47] Jane's Story,[48] Sagila, Shylock,[49] The Farming of Bones,[50] The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,[51][52] The Seven Ages of Car, The Bogus Woman[53] and Breakfast with Mugabe.[54]

She voiced various roles in the BBC Radio 4 dramatic recordings of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness.[55] From 2004-2014, she intermittently voiced characters for the long-running BBC Radio 4 The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

Audiobooks edit

She voiced the young adult adventure series Steeplejack by A. J. Hartley that is set in an imaginary world loosely resembling Victorian South Africa.

Accolades edit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2006 Laurence Olivier Award Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Play A Raisin in the Sun Won [56]
2016 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Actress in a Leading Role Linda Nominated [57][58]
2017 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Won [59]
2018 Tony Award Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Nominated [60]
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated [61]
Theatre World Award Honouree [62]
2021 International Online Cinema Awards Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Pose Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film The Undoing Nominated

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Hoggard, Liz (20 December 2015). "Noma Dumezweni: 'I'm starting to believe in the universe right now'". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Fierberg, Ruthie (21 December 2015). "7 Things You Need to Know About London's Newly Announced Hermione Granger". Playbill. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  3. ^ Olivier Awards ceremony 2017
  4. ^ NT : Archive : "The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other", National Theatre, 12 April 2008. Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Hepple, Peter (1 July 2005). "Reviews: President of an Empty Room". The Stage. Archived from the original on 9 January 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  6. ^ Lyric Hammersmith | A Raisin in the Sun Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Olivier Awards 2006". Laurence Olivier Awards. 2006. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  8. ^ Sell, Michael (1 June 2004). "Reviews: A Midsummer Night's Dream". The Stage. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  9. ^ Sell, Michael (2 August 2004). "Reviews: The Master and Margarita". The Stage. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  10. ^ Gilchrist, Stephen (2 May 2003). "Nathan the Wise (Chichester)". What's On Stage. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  11. ^ Fisher, Philip (2008). "Review of Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Chichester Festival production". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  12. ^ Taylor, Paul (19 September 2008). "Review of Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Gielgud Theatre, London". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 June 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  13. ^ Spencer, Charles (13 February 2001). "Out of Africa, into a refugee's nightmare". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  14. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Fierce Kindred Spirits, Burning for a Throne". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  15. ^ Whitehouse, Ben. "Coventry and Warwickshire Stage – Tragedy and humour meet head on at RST". BBC. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  16. ^ Royal Shakespeare Company : Archived releases Archived 2 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Billington, Michael (15 April 2006). "Breakfast With Mugabe". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  18. ^ Billington, Michael (9 April 2009). "Winter's Tale Courtyard Stratford Review". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  19. ^ "The Winter's Tale, 2009 David Farr Production". Royal Shakespeare Company. April 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  20. ^ David, Peta (14 April 2009). "Reviews: "A Winter's Tale"". The Stage. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014.
  21. ^ Hutchinson, Shaun (24 January 2011). "Interview with Shakespearean Actress Noma Dumezweni". People With Voices. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  22. ^ Billington, Michael (21 April 2011). "Little Eagles – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  23. ^ L, Belinda (8 May 2012). "Theatre Review: Belong @ Royal Court". Londonist. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  24. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (6 June 2014). "A Bit of South Africa's Ugly Past Comes to the Stage". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  25. ^ Isherwood, Charles (31 May 2015). "Review: 'A Human Being Died That Night,' a Look at an Apartheid Assassin, at BAM". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  26. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (2 December 2015). "Linda, Royal Court, review: 'funny, touching, deeply uncomfortable-making'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  27. ^ Kirwan, Peter (6 December 2014). "'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Shakespeare's Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  28. ^ Trueman, Matt (21 April 2015). "Simon Stephens's 'compelling' Carmen Disruption premieres at Almeida". What's On Stage. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  29. ^ Tan, Monica (21 December 2015). "Noma Dumezweni cast as Hermione in new Harry Potter stage play". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  30. ^ Maltby, Kate. "There's nothing confusing about a black actress playing Hermione Granger". Spectator Blogs. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  31. ^ Maltby, Kate. "There's nothing confusing about a black actress playing Hermione Granger". Spectator Blogs. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015. JK Rowling tweeted this morning that she'd never specified Hermione's skin colour in the books.
  32. ^ J. K. Rowling [@jk_rowling] (21 December 2015). "Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 20 January 2016 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ "Noma Dumezweni: 'Hermione has taught me how to be angry'". BBC News. 30 November 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  34. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  35. ^ McPhee, Ryan (2 August 2017). "Original Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Trio to Reunite on Broadway; Additional Casting Announced". Playbill. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  36. ^ Lukowski, Andrzej (16 June 2022). "'A Doll's House, Part 2' review". TimeOut London. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  37. ^ Prakash, Neha (29 March 2021). "Noma Dumezweni Is Hollywood's Newest It Girl". Marie Claire. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  38. ^ a b Malkin, Marc (23 November 2020). "'The Undoing' Star Noma Dumezweni on Looking 'Really Good' Working With Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant". Variety. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  39. ^ Coates, Tyler (3 February 2021). "Hugh Grant on 'The Undoing' Golden Globes Nom: "It's a Relief Not to Have to Pretend to Be a Nice Guy"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  40. ^ Coates, Tyler (17 June 2021). "Noma Dumezweni Reflects on Early Career, Praise for 'The Undoing': "The Character Really Resonated With African American Women"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  41. ^ Guttmann, Graeme (15 October 2022). "Noma Dumezweni Interview: The Watcher". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  42. ^ Farber, Stephen (5 September 2021). "'The Same Storm': Film Review, Telluride 2021". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  43. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (20 May 2021). "'The Undoing's Noma Dumezweni joins Liam Nesson In 'Retribution,' Studiocanal Remake Of 'El Desconocido'". Deadline. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  44. ^ Eddy, Cheryl (10 September 2022). "Disney's Live-Action Little Mermaid Shares Its First Teaser". Gizmodo. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  45. ^ Naomi Watts & Bill Murray To Topline Dramedy ‘The Friend’ From Scott McGehee & David Siegel; Constance Wu, Ann Dowd Among Others Set
  46. ^ "From Fact to Fiction, Series 2, Episode 1". BBC. 19 May 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  47. ^ "Drama on 3: Handprint". BBC Radio 3. 26 March 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  48. ^ "Jane's Story". RadioListings. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  49. ^ "Drama on 3: Shylock". BBC Radio 3. 5 March 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  50. ^ "The Farming of Bones". BBC Radio 4. 7 November 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  51. ^ "Afternoon Drama: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Series 4, A Very Rude Woman". BBC Radio 4. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  52. ^ "Afternoon Drama: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Series 4, Talking Shoes". BBC Radio 4. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  53. ^ "The Bogus Woman". RadioListings. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  54. ^ "Drama on 3: Breakfast With Mugabe". BBC Radio 3. 4 June 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  55. ^ The Complete Earthsea Series & The Left Hand of Darkness. Penguin Books. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  56. ^ "Olivier Winners 2006". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  57. ^ Dex, Robert (9 November 2016). "Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016: The shortlist". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  58. ^ "Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016: Who won and why". 14 November 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  59. ^ "Olivier Winners 2017". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  60. ^ "The Tony Award Nominations". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  61. ^ Millward, Tom (18 May 2018). "Drama League Awards 2018 - And the Winners are..." New York Theater Guide. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  62. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (8 May 2018). "Bravo! Winners Announced for the 2018 Theatre World Awards". Retrieved 21 April 2021.

External links edit