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Monday June 17, 2024

Tom Holland's 'Romeo & Juliet' faces mixed reviews, labeled 'forgettable'

Tom Holland criticized, Francesca Amewudah-Rivers hailed as breakout star

By Web Desk
May 27, 2024

Tom Holland's return to the West End stage in Romeo & Juliet has sparked mixed reviews following its opening night at the Duke of York’s Theatre last week. 

The Marvel star, described by one reviewer as 'uncharismatic,' stars opposite Francesca Amewudah-Rivers in an edgy, modern production directed by theatre visionary Jamie Lloyd.

While some critics lauded the show as 'mesmerising,' others found it 'lifeless.' 

Despite the divided opinions, Francesca received unanimous praise for her portrayal of Juliet, being hailed as the play's 'saving grace.' 

Her performance stood out even as she faced a 'barrage of deplorable racial abuse' following her casting announcement in April.

In a two-star review, the BBC's Hugh Montgomery described the production as "a depressingly lifeless affair, which somehow manages to be both overstated and underpowered." 

According to one review, Holland's portrayal lacked depth, with his emotional range appearing limited and his character reduced to "snarling disaffection" towards the end. 

While Daily Mail's Patrick Marimon awarded the play a generous four stars, highlighting Holland's ability to captivate the audience with his "dreamy gaze," other critics were less impressed. 

The Express' Neil Norman gave the production a scathing one-star review, labeling it "absolute drivel" and criticizing Holland's lack of charisma as Romeo.

However, The Guardian's Arifa Akbar offered a more balanced perspective, praising the chemistry between Holland and Amewudah-Rivers while noting the deliberate restraint in Jamie Lloyd’s stylized production.