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Noma Dumezweni calls for creation of ‘West End creche’

Noma Dumezweni plays Hermione Grainger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photo: Charlie Gray Noma Dumezweni plays Hermione Grainger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photo: Charlie Gray
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Actor Noma Dumezweni has spoken of the challenges she faces as a parent working in theatre, revealing that “work just stopped” when she got pregnant.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child star has recorded a video for campaign group Parents in Performing Arts, in which she discusses the difficulties of being a parent who acts.

In the video, Dumezweni calls for a cooperative-style creche to be launched, run by actors, who could share the responsibility of childcare for West End performers.

Dumezweni reveals that she felt like her “world closed off” when she got pregnant with her daughter. She told her agent she was pregnant at five months and said that after that “it felt as if work just stopped”.

“And it did just stop,” she reveals in the video, adding that she lost two jobs when people found out she was pregnant.

“At the very beginning, being a parent did impact how I go about this business,” she adds.

The performer also highlights how the support of family, friends and the current company of Harry Potter has helped to ease the pressure of being a single parent.

Backing PIPA, she states “the world shows us what we need at a specific moment in time” and adds that more needs to be done to support performers who need childcare at a “moment’s notice”.

Dumezweni goes on to claim that, without support, there will be a “homogenisation of people” in theatre if nothing is done.

“I am very blessed to have this experience of being a parent, but do not negate me from this industry because I am a parent. This is the one industry I know of where I meet [people from] every walk of life,” she says.

PIPA is currently conducting a survey looking at barriers parents in the sector face.

Last month, director Phyllida Lloyd said the industry needed to “get its house in order” to help people working in theatre who have children.

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