Heartstopper’s Joe Locke praised for ‘insanely good’ Broadway debut

Fans have heaped praise on Heartstopper star Joe Locke following his Broadway debut as Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd.

Locke took over the role from Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre production yesterday (31 January). Tobias, or Toby, is an apprentice of Sweeney Todd’s rival Pirelli, who becomes swept up in the barber’s murderous antics.

After being taken under Todd’s wing, working in Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop, until he discovers their dark secret. The role includes singing several songs, including solo for “Not While I’m Around”.

One look at the stage door following Locke’s debut proves his performance is proving a draw, with videos on social media show screaming fans when he appeared outside to greet the rising gay star.

“I’m having the best day and I’m not going to remember any of it,” he told the crowd.

“I’m having the best day and I’m not going to remember any of it” lmaooo Joe Locke you’re so real ilysm pic.twitter.com/73VqlwLmT4

— chelsea (@chelpowell) February 1, 2024

joe locke greeting fans at sweeney todd stagedoor pic.twitter.com/jNoK7TPpFh

— daily joe locke (@dailyjlocke) February 1, 2024

i can’t stop laughing at this video, i’d never seen anything like this before and i’ve seen daniel radcliffe in three different broadways/west end us queers came out in full force for joe locke lmao pic.twitter.com/jaYiZ4pACG

— ruby (@mvrlance) February 1, 2024

Writing on social media, one fan enthused: “Y’all, Joe Locke 110 per cent can sing. He has such a beautiful voice I cried. His performance was genuinely so good.”

Another fan asked: “Why did it take us as a society this long to put Joe Locke in a musical?”

Several videos and audio clips show Locke belting out his version of “Not While I’m Around”, leading fans to proclaim him the perfect Toby.

“This is insanity. His voice is f**king insanely good,” one fan said over the audio clip of the star singing.

“Like professionally good. Joe Locke, your talent is undeniable. Incredible things are coming your way,” they added.

Joe Locke is the perfect Toby!!! pic.twitter.com/7AZM93PRcs

— Jeremy West (@JeremyWest) February 1, 2024

Joe Locke has fans (and rightly so, he is INCREDIBLE) pic.twitter.com/H1lo5eUHt7

— Kate Reinking (@katereinking) February 1, 2024

On Instagram, Locke shared a photo of himself performing, with the caption: “Little Joe would be happy rn.”

In the comment section, his Heartstopper co-stars were also quick to signal their approval.

“So proud of u,” wrote Kit Connor, his on-screen boyfriend Nick Nelson in the series.

William Gao, who plays best friend Tao Xu, shared several heart emojis, while Heartstopper newcomer Bradley Riches wrote: “Proud.” And Leila Khan, who plays Sahar Zahid in Alice Oseman’s hit show, added: “Congratulations, you deserve the world, x.”

Meanwhile, RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Jinkx Monsoon, who made her Broadway debut in Chicago a year ago, posted a series of heart and hand-clap emojis.

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