After Facing Abuse by Fans, Francesca Amewudah-Rivers Shines in ‘Romeo & Juliet’ While Tom Holland Flops

After Facing Abuse by Fans, Francesca Amewudah-Rivers Shines in 'Romeo & Juliet' While Tom Holland Flops

The controversial adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet starring Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers has finally premiered and the first reactions are coming in. Jamie Lloyd adapted this version and the director is known for his very modernized remakes of stage classics, and that fact has already caused some controversy in the theater circles. But, pairing Lloyd with Holland made the tickets sell, especially since this was Holland’s first return to the stage after Billy Elliot: The Musical, in which he appeared very early in his career. Even before the premiere, the show has been heavily discussed by fans due to the hate given to Juliet’s actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers due to her skin color.

But, based on the early reviews that we have for you, it seems that Francesca Amewudah-Rivers completely outshined Holland, whose performance was described as disappointing, while Ameduwah-Rivers managed to stand out and confirm that we have a potential star in our hands.

In case you don’t remember our earlier report, the young actress was the target of significant racial slander and abuse at the time, which we vehemently condemned when we wrote about it the first time. The producers, as well as some of Rivers’ colleagues, were quick to react, but Tom Holland wasn’t, and some fans have attacked him for his passivity in this case. Lloyd, via his production company, issued the following statement back at the time:

“Following the announcement of our ‘Romeo & Juliet’ cast, there has been a barrage of deplorable racial abuse online directed towards a member of our 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. Bullying and harassment have no place online, in our industry, or in our wider communities.”


While we did not find any public report that Holland did, indeed, react to this issue, seemingly not standing up to defend his colleague, the reviews confirm that Francesca Amewudah-Rivers managed to outshine Holland on stage and all the praise directed at her performance seems like the young actress has managed to crush all the negative comments and rise above them in a soaring performance.

In his review for The Hollywood Reporter, Demetrios Matheou lauds her performance:

“In contrast, this deserves to be a star-making turn for Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, who has triumphed over the torrent of online racial abuse she received when cast. The actress, best known in the U.K. for television work that includes Bad Education, but with Shakespearean theater turns in Macbeth and Othello, is magnificent, her Juliet the spiky, self-aware, fiercely independent pulse of the production.”

Source: THR

After everything she’s gone through, we’re happy that Francesca Amewudah-Rivers managed to give such a majestic performance and we wish her all the best going forward, and we hope to see more of her in the future, potentially even on television and on the big screen.

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