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Black Frozen actor hits back at audience members who walked out of West End show halfway through



A star of the popular West End musical Frozen took to social media to respond to the racial abuse he was subjected to by audience members at a recent show. Obioma Ugoala, who plays Kristoff in the Disney musical addressed the “four audience members in their 50s who left the show” in an emphatic Twitter thread.

The London-based actor who is of Nigerian-Irish descent has starred in numerous productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company including Motown and Hamilton.

In the thread – which opened with the words #RepresentationMatters – the performer spoke of his joy at being part of the play before going on to detail the incident.

READ MORE: ‘As a Black father I shouldn’t be having the same conversations on racism that my dad had with me over 30 years ago’

The actor said: “I love playing this show night after night at the Drury Lane playing a love interest in a Disney Musical opposite the cream of the crop of the talent the West End has to offer. It is the stuff of dreams for this little brown boy.

“I am sorry that in a world of Ice Queens and magic strikes, this “darkie” as you referred to me was outside of your imagination. Perhaps you presumed you were safe to speak of me that way, not feeling you’d be overheard.”

He added: “Perhaps the film has a special place in your heart. My Afro hair and melanated skin beyond the scope of what you could fathom. But, sirs and madams, night after night, I see hundreds of children watch our talented cast of all hues and colours and escape into a magical world for two hours. I wish you had their eyes.”

The thread has continued to gain attention online and has been liked almost 3,000 times and retweeted more than 100 times. Ugoala has also received strong support in the comment section of the tweet by those who condemn the racism incident.

One user commented: “It’s so irritating to have people say, “The best person for the job should get it”. Until that person is Black. Suddenly it’s “woke casting!”

While another user commented: “I felt both sad and hopeful, reading your thread. And something much harder for those four ghastly dinosaurs. I’ve not seen the show, but if you act as beautifully as you write, I am sure you shine amongst those queens and icicles…never stop!”

The performer echoed the same optimism about the situation and hit back with more strong words. He said: “The world is changing, I dare to dream, for the better. I have had too many dreams promised out of my reach, rooms warned weren’t for me, roles beyond my imagination.”

“I am glad a new generation will watch our show and feel invited to dream of bigger, better and brighter. I am glad they will dream kindly and imagine worlds where we are all included. I wish you had their eyes. The sadness that you left me with tonight will be replaced tomorrow morning with the renewed zeal of one reminded we still have work to do.”

“Thank you everyone for messages of support and love.”

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