Freddie Fox replaces Richard Madden as Romeo in Branagh production

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Kenneth Branagh has had to find an emergency replacement for the male lead role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet after both Richard Madden and his understudy were injured.

On Tuesday, Sir Kenneth Branagh confirmed that Freddie Fox will take over the role of Romeo in his production of Romeo and Juliet following the injury of both male lead and understudy. Madden was forced to exit the play after hurting his ankle while running, while his understudy, Tom Hanson, has injured his leg.

Sir Kenneth claimed that he “could not be more thrilled to welcome” Fox to the cast. Despite the strange and sudden turn of events Sir Kenneth kept impressive composure, stating that: “Sometimes things do not go according to plan in the theatre…Our job is to help make sure they both make the best recovery possible, whilst working as hard as we can to provide a great show for audiences”.

The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company seem hopeful that Madden’s exit from the play is temporary, with a spokeswoman stating that they were taking “daily medical advice” on Madden’s injury and that he would return to the play as soon as possible. Madden admitted that not being able to perform was: “hugely frustrating and sad”, adding that both Hanson and Fox deserved “a big thank you” for stepping in during his absence.

Fans may be disappointed with Madden’s temporary exit from the show, particularly those who sought to see Madden and Lily James reignite their spark following their on-screen romance in Cinderella. While this is understandable fans should not fear too much as Madden’s replacement is undoubtedly an impressive actor. Fox has recently starred in films such as Pride, The Riot Club and Victor Frankenstein and has only recently completed his role as Romeo at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet also stars Lily James as Juliet and Sir Derek Jacobi and Meera Syal in the supporting cast. The production runs at the Garrick Theatre until August 13th 2016.

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