Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler to lead ‘brutal’ Romeo + Juliet on Broadway

<span>Romeo + Julet - Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler.</span><span>Photograph: Sam Levy</span>
Romeo + Julet - Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler.Photograph: Sam Levy

West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler and Heartstopper breakout Kit Connor are set to play Shakespeare’s tragic lovers Romeo and Juliet on Broadway.

Romeo + Juliet will premiere later this year from Tony award-winning director Sam Gold, who has previously taken on other Shakespeare plays such as Macbeth, Othello and King Lear.

Related: Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal to lead Othello on Broadway

“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 said in a statement.

New music will come from Grammy winner Jack Antonoff, the singer and musician known for his many collaborations with Taylor Swift.

The official synopsis reads: “The youth are fucked. 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’s most recent play, the Ibsen adaptation An Enemy of the People, has received critical acclaim for both his direction and for lead Jeremy Strong. Gold has previously worked with stars such as Daniel Craig, Ruth Negga and David Oyelowo.

Zegler announced the news on X, writing: “never beating the broadway debut allegations”. She was most recently seen in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and will next be seen in Kyle Mooney’s comedy horror Y2K.

Connor, best known for Netflix teen drama Heartstopper, will next be heard alongside Lupita Nyong’o in animated adventure The Wild Robot. He has previously appeared on stage in London in Fanny & Alexander.

This year will also see Denzel Washington and Jake Gyllenhaal star in a new take on Othello, the first Broadway staging since 1982. In London, Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers will also star in a new take on Romeo & Juliet this summer.