Home Entertainment Tom Holland’s “Romeo and Juliet” Sparks Passion and Mixed Reviews

Tom Holland’s “Romeo and Juliet” Sparks Passion and Mixed Reviews

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Fans are crowing joyously outside the London theatre where Tom Holland stars in “Romeo and Juliet.” Critics inside, however, are less enthused. The Telegraph praises Holland with a five-star review, saying he “ravishes” and “mesmerises” as Romeo. In contrast, the Daily Express harshly criticizes his performance, calling it “absolute drivel” and deeming him “a charisma-free zone.”

Time Out’s review is balanced, noting Holland “certainly doesn’t disgrace himself.” The Guardian also gives a lukewarm response, calling his performance “good.” Other critics describe Holland’s Romeo as “fine,” “perfectly OK,” and “perfectly plausible.”

Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, who plays Juliet, receives more consistent praise. Time Out’s Andrzej Lukowski calls her “great,” highlighting her “lightness” in contrast to Holland’s “dour angst.” Time Out awards the play four stars, commending director Jamie Lloyd’s minimalist production as “brilliantly unsettling.”

The Times, less impressed, describes the production as “a conscientious but colourless radio drama.” Awarding three stars, Clive Davis praises Holland as “quiet, fresh-faced and sensitive,” but notes the production felt “too formulaic.”

The Guardian’s Arifa Akbar gives three stars, saying Holland and Amewudah-Rivers are “perfectly cast” with “awkwardly cool teen energy.” However, she concludes that the “deliberate underplaying of emotion” drains the play of its tragedy.

Variety’s David Benedict criticizes the “fiercely stripped-down” production for lacking the “exuberance of love and youth.” He finds Holland “plausible” but says he “emotes rather than elicits emotions.” The Independent’s Tim Bano is harsher, saying Holland’s performance “falls flat” and the production’s “industrial chic” style has become repetitive.

BBC Culture’s Hugh Montgomery gives two stars, noting the “unprecedented scenes” outside the theatre. He calls the show “depressingly lifeless,” blaming the “gimmicky, oppressively dour staging” rather than the actors.

Deadline’s Baz Bamigboye watches as the audience files out, remarking on Holland’s performance as “totally fine.” He highlights the production’s appeal to a young audience, essential for the future of theatre.

Meanwhile, a fresh adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” stars Heartstopper’s Kit Connor, alongside West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler. The musical, slated to preview in September, boasts lyrics by Taylor Swift’s collaborator Jack Antonoff. The trailer for the New York show has just been released to a great reception.

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