Heartstopper’s Kit Connor cast in Broadway’s Romeo and Juliet

A graphic with a light pink heart background. In the foreground, Kit Connor is in a grey top and beige jacket, and there is a screenshot of his instagram page, on which he has posted a cryptic "R".

Heartstopper star Kit Connor’s will star as Romeo in an Broadway adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet alongside The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes actress Rachel Zegler.

The 20-year-old actor revealed the news via his Instagram page, one day after cryptically teasing his next big project.

Romeo and Juliet on Broadway will begin this autumn, and will feature music from frequent Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey collaborator, Jack Antonoff. It will be led by Fun Home director Sam Gold.

On Monday, (15 April), Connor – best known for playing Nick Nelson, Charlie Spring’s boyfriend in Netflix’s teen drama Heartstopper – cryptically posted an “R” on his Instagram profile, sending fans into a spiral and leaving them guessing about what was coming next.

The turquoise letter appeared next to half of a “+” symbol in the graphic, with fans left assuming that there was a second part of the image somewhere on Instagram.

And they were proved correct.

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At the same time, Zegler had posted the other half of the image, with the letter “J”.

As mysterious as the pair tried to be, captioning the images with just a heart and a sword emoji, fans were very quick to guess that “R + J” probably stood for Romeo and Juliet.

Adding fuel to fire, Connor was later spotted following a newly created Instagram account called “romeojulietnyc”. Plus, he tagged the location of his Instagram post as “Verona”, the Italian city in which Shakespeare’s tragedy is famously set.

Fans therefore concluded that Connor would soon be swapping the corridors of Truham School for Broadway, with the pair starring on stage as the star-crossed lovers.

“Wait… there’s no way… [Kit] and Rachel? I’m so cooked,” declared one social media user.

A second wrote: “Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler in Romeo and Juliet, I can’t do this, I can’t breathe.”

And a third warned: “If Kit Connor and Rachel Zegler are playing Romeo and Juliet, I will become the most annoying person on Earth.”

Another simply wrote: “It’s Broadway, baby.”

Connor has previously appeared on stage, in London productions of Welcome Home, Captain Fox! and Fanny and Alexander, prior to his Heartstopper fame.

Connor will be followin gin the footsteps of on-screen boyfriend Joe Locke in heading to Broadway, who recently got his big theatre break by starring as Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd.

Spider-Man actor Tom Holland is set to star as Romeo in the upcoming West End production of the play, opposite Black Bad Education actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers. The part has traditionally been played by white actresses.

Hundreds of predominantly Black, female and non-binary actors condemned the racist abuse aimed at Amewudah-Rivers after her casting announcement was announced.

An open letter condemning the discriminatory comments, signed by the likes of Ghosts star Lolly Adefope, former Doctor Who companion Freema Agyeman, and On Chesil Beach‘s Tamara Lawrance, read: “The racist and misogynistic abuse directed at such a sweet soul has been too much to bear.”

Romeo and Juliet is due to open in London on 11 May and run for 12 weeks.

Tickets for Romeo and Juliet on Broadway will go on sale in May.