Source: Kit Connor/Instagram

'Heartstopper' Heartthrob Kit Connor to Star in 'Brutal' Broadway Production of 'Romeo + Juliet'


"Heartstopper" star Kit Connor is set to make his Broadway bow as Romeo in the timeless Shakespeare classic of young love facing impossible odds in a new production tailored for the times.

Connor will play Romeo opposite "West Side Story" star Rachel Zegler as Juliet, Variety reported, adding that the actors "teased the news Monday on Instagram with matching posts of their character's initials and the caption of a heart and dagger emoji."

"They also tagged the location as Verona, the Italian city where the feuding Montagues and Capulets reside," the entertainment news outlet added.

Indeed, the city's name was the only word Connor used to caption his post. Zegler, for her part, wrote: "personally feeling very chill".

The classic play is a tragedy, but Tony-winning director Sam Gold wanted to make it even more so – and to comment on the dire circumstances that today's youth are facing as they come of age.

"With the presidential election coming up in November, I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope, and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting," Gold declared in a statement about the play, UK newspaper the Guardian detailed in a writeup that characterized the new production as "brutal."

It's a fair assessment, judging from the play's official synopsis, which the newspaper quoted.

"The youth are fucked," the synopsis says bluntly. "Left to their own devices in their parents' world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate."

"The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way."

"Gold directed this season's buzzy play 'An Enemy of the People' with Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli," Variety recounted, "and has previously tackled the Bard with 'Macbeth' starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga and 'King Lear' led by Glenda Jackson."

"Sonya Tayeh, the Tony-winning choreographer of 'Moulin Rouge,' will conceive the movement in the show," the writeup added, also noting that the new production's music is the work of Jack Antonoff, "the Grammy-winning producer best known to Gen Z for working with Taylor Swift..."

"This version of 'Romeo + Juliet' promises to cater to the TikTok generation," Variety went on to say, citing "a press release that pledges 'Shakespeare's timeless tragedy now belongs to a new generation on the edge.'"

Connor is set to feature in the upcoming animated feature "The Wild Robot," Variety noted, and he will be seen on the small screen when the third season of the global Netflix smash returns later this year. His "Heartstopper" co-star Joe Locke recently beat Connor to Broadway with a role in "Sweeney Todd."

Connor and Locke play teenage boys in love on the Netflix series, which is based on the popular graphic novels of the same name.

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