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Romeo & Juliet director forced to slam ‘deplorable’ racism after cast announcement-Danni Scott-Entertainment – Metro

‘Any abuse will not be tolerated.’

Romeo & Juliet director forced to slam ‘deplorable’ racism after cast announcement-Danni Scott-Entertainment – Metro

Francesca Amewudah-Rivers was subjected to ‘deplorable’ abuse (Picture: Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The new West End production of Romeo & Juliet has been hit with a barrage of racist abuse after announcing the star-crossed lovers’ casting.

Tom Holland was initially announced as romantic lead Romeo Montague, with no word on his Juliet Capulet or anyone else set to star.

Despite mystery around all details beyond the Marvel star’s appearance, the play immediately sold out with thousands queuing for a chance to see him on the stage.

After the masses has rushed to get their hands on tickets, Romeo & Juliet finally announced the name of their leading lady — Francesca Amewudah-Rivers.

The Bad Education star was revealed on March 28 but within days the Jamie Lloyd Company who are producing the show were forced to address racist backlash.

In a post on its Instagram, the theatre company said there had been ‘a barrage of deplorable racial abuse’ hurled at the 25-year-old.

The production company sent out a message about the abuse (Picture: romeojulietldn/Instagram)

Francesca has been cast as Juliet in the West End production (Picture: romeojulietldn/Instagram)

‘Following the announcement of our Romeo & Juliet cast,’ the production shared. ‘A barrage of deplorable racial abuse online directed towards a member of our company.’

‘This must stop,’ the statement said. ‘We are working with a remarkable group of artists. We insist that they are free to create work without facing online harassment.

‘We will continue to support and protect everyone in our company at all costs. Any abuse will not be tolerated and will be reported.

‘Bullying and harassment have no place online, in our industry or in our wider communities.’

Tom Holland stars as Romeo in Romeo & Juliet (Picture: romeojulietldn/Instagram)

They added the rehearsal room was one filled with ‘joy, compassion, and kindness’, free from any hatred.

Francesca starred as Blessing in Bad Education from 2022 to 2024 and is credited as a composer for short films Medea, Messenger, and Minutes.

The torrent of abuse came after over 60,000 people swarmed ticket selling sites to see Marvel’s golden child in his 12 week run as the ill-fated Romeo.

Fans were thrilled to see Tom return to his home on London’s stages, where he made his debut performances as Billy Elliot in the late 2000s.

Romeo & Juliet’s full London cast has been revealed (Picture: romeojulietldn/Instagram)

The Duke of York’s Theatre, where the production will be staged, shared the news of the 27-year-old’s casting in an Instagram post which garnered thousands of likes.

‘Tom Holland is Romeo in Jamie Lloyd’s pulsating new vision of Shakespeare’s immortal tale of wordsmiths, rhymers, lovers and fighters,’ the announcement read.

British theatre director Jamie Lloyd is best known for his recent production of Sunset Blvd, starring Nicole Scherzinger, and A Doll’s House with Jessica Chastain.

‘Tom Holland is one of the greatest, most exciting young actors in the world. It is an honour to welcome him back to the West End,’ he praised of the Spider-Man star.

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