• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Tomiwa Edun stars with Tom Holland in new Romeo and Juliet

tomiwa edun romeo and juliet

British-Nigerian actor, Adetomiwa Edun stars in Jamie Lloyd’s pulsating new vision of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The Lagos-born drama king portrays Lord Capulet, Juliet’s father and head of the Capulet household.

The new production is overseen by James Lloyd, a British director who runs The Jamie Lloyd Company.

The 3-week theatre performance will run from May 13 to August 3, 2024 at the Duke Of York’s Theatre in the City of Westminster, London after an initial delay.

“We’ve arrived @dukeofyorksLDN. Performances begin tonight,” the company wrote on Instagram, Monday.

Romeo and Capulet

It is not Edun’s first time on a Romeo and Juliet set. The 44-year-old played the role of Romeo in a production of Romeo and Juliet at the prestigious Global Theatre in London, becoming only the second black man to play the role.

Now, Edun is back to embody a new role, playing his former betrothed’s father.

In Romeo and Juliet, Lord Capulet possesses great power and social responsibility. He hosts the Capulet party and fuels the conflict between the Montague and the Capulet households.

As Capulet usually gets his own way, he is shocked that Juliet refuses to obey his orders which leads to her disownment. He regrets his anger as the play ends, then he and Montague ask for forgiveness and repent.

Co-stars

Edun stars with Hollywood star actor, Tom Holland who portrays Romeo Montague in the adaption alongside Francesca Amewudah-Rivers who takes on the role of Juliet Capulet, a selection which has raised controversy among observers on the ethnicity of the character, following a first-look photoshoot of both main protagonists.

The company had released a statement condemning the racial abuse and deplorable criticism.

“We are working with a remarkable group of artists. We insist that they are free to create work without facing online harassment,” the company wrote on Instagram,

The pair were expected to have taken to the stage for the first time on Monday evening, after the opening preview performance on Saturday at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London was unexpectedly cancelled.

Edun’s character is understudied by Philip Olagoke, another Nigerian-born actor with appearances in film, theatre and television.

His theatre credits include Oklahoma where he played the role of Cord Elam; The Glass Menagerie, where he understudied the character of Tom and Jim; Hansel & Gretel (The Globe), among others.

Olagoke trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, a university in London, England, where he earned a B.A. in acting.

Past projects

Edun is son toOlawale Edun, Nigeria’s current finance minister and Amy Adwoa Edun, daughter of Ghanaian statesman, Joa Appiah.

He initially considered a career in banking like his father, following an internship with Citi Group but chose to pursue acting.

His career on stage began in 2000, after appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival show Kassandra, where he played the character of Clifford. He has earned a rich portfolio across film, television and theatre featuring in several other theatre productions, including Lionboy, and Translations. He also played Macbeth in a production of the play by the National Theatre.

His standout roles include his role as Sir Elyan on star TV show Merlin and in video gaming where he took on the fictional character of Alex Hunter, the main protagonist of football story mode The Journey which featured in FIFA 17, FIFA 18, and FIFA 19.

Nigerian roots

Edun has also connected with his Nigerian roots having starred in Nollywood films including Banana Island Ghost and From Lagos with Love, a 2018 film where he played the character of Paul de Sande.

Edun found a new audience in Nigerians after posting a viral picture of a bloody Nigerian flag on his Instagram handle in solidarity with young protesters during the EndSARS protests at Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2024.