When it was announced that Rent would be touring across the UK including a run in London, I knew I had to snap up a ticket to this iconic modern classic of a musical. Celebrating 20 years since it first opened, Rent is still as iconic in musical theatre now as it was when Jonathan Larson first created the show.
Based on the opera La Boheme and set in New York, Rent follows themes relating to gentrification, homelessness, LGBTQ* and Aids/HIV that are still present in various musicals today. And it’s very much an ensemble piece, with every character having their moment in the sun. Featuring iconic songs such as Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me & La Vie Boheme, all the performances blew me away and I was already smiling with excitement by the time the first song had finished.
Ross Hunter and Billy Cullum lead the company as Roger & Mark who were brilliant together. Lucie Jones and Shanay Holmes showed off their exquisite vocals, in particular during Take Me or Leave Me. Layton Williams was an incredible Angel and the choreography by Lee Proud during Today 4 U made my jaw drop. But for me, the stand out was Philippa Stefani as Mimi. Philippa is a phenomenal actress. She includes such detail from her voice & facial expressions down to her movements & frame right up until and including the bows. And her vocals during Out Tonight were stunning.
Bruce Gethrie’s 20th anniversary production is incredible and continues Jonathan Larson’s legacy through this outstanding production. Rent is currently playing at the St James Theatre in London until the end of January but the show continues on tour. For more information visit www.rentonstage.co.uk
Thanks for sticking with me during Theatre Week! I shall see you in the New Year.
PS: Follow my friend Olivia, who I saw Rent with, and read her review of Rent at www.rewritethisstory.com