Freddie Fox steps in for injured Richard Madden in Romeo And Juliet

Actor Freddie Fox has joined Sir Kenneth Branagh's production of Romeo And Juliet after the male lead and his understudy became injured in an "unfortunate set of circumstances".

The part of Romeo had been played by Game Of Thrones actor Richard Madden, who injured his ankle while running.

Richard Madden attending the Royal Academy Summer Preview Party, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London
Richard Madden attending the Royal Academy Summer Preview Party, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (Matt Crossick/PA)

He was replaced by his understudy Tom Hanson, who has also since hurt his leg.

Freddie will now take on the role of the romantic hero opposite Cinderella star Lily James in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company production until Richard's return.

He will join the production from July 26 following a period of intensive rehearsals with Lily and the rest of the cast.

Richard, who has been receiving physiotherapy since his injury, said: "It has been hugely frustrating and sad that I have not been able to perform in the show, but my ankle is getting better and I will be returning soon.

"I wanted to say a big thank you to Tom for covering me so brilliantly and I hope that he too recovers from his injury soon. I also wanted to say a massive thanks to Freddie for stepping in to help, I know that he is going to be fantastic."

A spokeswoman for the theatre said of Richard: "Due to the nature of the injury it has taken some time to heal and it continues to require both rest and physiotherapy. Since the injury happened, the part of Romeo has been covered by Tom Hanson, who has played Paris in the production in addition to understudying Romeo.

"In an unfortunate set of circumstances, Tom has also injured his leg and is unable to perform, which has prompted the producers to bring Freddie Fox into the company."

She added that the producers and cast will continue to take regular medical advice on Richard's injury.

Lily James attending the European premiere of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies held at Vue West End in Leicester Square, London.
Lily James (Ian West/PA)

Sir Kenneth said: "Sometimes things do not go according to plan in the theatre. Who would have predicted that both Richard and Tom would sustain such unexpected injuries during the same run of this play?

"Our job is to help make sure that they both make the best recovery possible, whilst working as hard as we can to provide a great show for audiences, which is why I could not be more thrilled to welcome Freddie Fox into the company.

"An old friend of many of the cast, Freddie is a talented and exciting actor who will no doubt bring much to the role of Romeo. As Richard's ankle improves and he is able to play more performances we look forward to completing the run with both of these wonderful artists."

Freddie, who recently played Romeo at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, said he was "looking forward to bringing my own experience and passion for the role of Romeo".

The production also stars Sir Derek Jacobi and Meera Syal, while Matthew Hawksley will step in to play Paris.

The play runs at the Garrick until August 13.

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