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a red and black poster of Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers as Romeo and Juliet

London Theatre Shares Statement of Support for ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Star Francesca Amewudah-Rivers

The Duke of York theatre in London’s West End is getting behind actor Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, who was recently cast in a production of Romeo & Juliet opposite Tom Holland.

The theatre shared a statement through The Jamie Lloyd Company on social media, saying it will not tolerate any racial abuse directed towards members of its company.

“This must stop. 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.”

The statement continued, “Bullying and harassment have no place online, in our industry or in our wider communities. Our rehearsal room is full of joy, compassion and kindness. We celebrate the extraordinary talent of our incredible collaborators. The Romeo & Juliet company will continue to rehearse with generosity and love, and focus on the creation of our production.”


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Francesca’s casting as Juliet was announced last week and while many cheered on the news (“This is history and you are making it!” one person posted), a number of people decided to leave nasty comments on her Instagram page. (We won’t be repeating them here, because those kinda comments can definitely disappear into the ether that is the online world.)

As for Tom Holland, he announced in February this year that he would be making his long-awaited return to the stage as Romeo. You might remember, the 27-year-old star first appeared on stage as a child in Billy Elliot The Musical. That was in 2008 when he was just 12!

Romeo & Juliet will also star Freema Agyeman, Michael Balogun, Mia Jerome, Tomiwa Edunis and many more.

It’s due to open on May 23.

(Feature Image Credit: Francesca Amewudah-Rivers and Tom Holland ‘Romeo & Juliet’ photo courtesy Jamie Lloyd Company)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.