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Previewed 2 October 2007, Opened 15 October 2007, Closed 2 February 2008 at the Duke of York's Theatre in London
A major revival of Jonathan Larson's Broadway hit musical Rent in London - now remixed for a new generation
Originally seen in London in 1998, Rent now returns in a brand new production that presents a modern day version of the musical which promises to amaze and astound audiences with its young and talented cast, handpicked for their street-edge and pop sensibility.
"The best of Jonathan Larson's songs worked their magic last night" The London Evening Standard
The cast for Rent Remixed features Denise Van Outen as 'Maureen' (up to 22 December 2007), Jessie Wallace as 'Maureen' (from 24 December 2007), Siobhan Donaghy as 'Mimi', Luke Evans as 'Roger', Oliver Thornton as 'Mark', Leon Lopez as 'Tom Collins', Jay Webb as 'Angel', Francesca Jackson as 'Joanne' and Craig Stein as 'Benny'. The production is directed by William Baker with designs by Mark Bailey, lighting by David Howe and sound by Sebastian Frost with the original score re-orchestrated and reworked by William Baker and Steve Anderson.
"The sexiest cast in London" The Sunday Express
"When Rent arrived in Britain in 1998, glittering with every single prize New York could shower on it, it caught the mood of the moment... The hype surrounding [the] show made all the more poignant by its creator, Jonathan Larson, dying young shortly before the opening, has evaporated. The music has also been remixed for a thin orchestra of four and it now feels like an ill-assorted jumble of feeble jingles. The result is variously shrill or syrupy, underpowered, uninvolving, interminable and way past its singby date. None of the performances convinces, all invariably more boyband than boho." The Mail on Sunday
"William Baker draws winning performances from his glamorous cast" The Times
"Based on La boheme, the 'rock opera' shares Puccini's tragic arc, but it responds to the desolation of drugs and Aids with some high kicks, some vocal belting and a whole lot of life-affirming hand-holding... The director, William Baker has 'remixed' it, so now some characters are British, and songs have been tweaked... But some leopards can't change their diamante spots: it's happy, shiny, yet somehow not fresh. Though you can't fault the message or the feeling, there are surely better ways of expressing them today." The Sunday Times
Rent in London at the Duke of York's Theatre previewed from 2 October 2007, opened on 15 October 2007 and closed on 2 February 2008.
Rent - 2001 and 2002
Prior to a major National tour, Jonathan Larson's Rent plays a strictly limited eight week season in London this Christmas from 4 December 2001. The cast for the production features Adam Rickett as 'Mark', Damien Flood as 'Roger', Debbie Kurup as 'Mimi', Mykal Rand as 'Tom Collins', Neil Couperthwaite as 'Angel', Wendy Mae Brown as 'Joanne' and Helen York as 'Maureen' with Jane Doyle at certain performances. Directed by Paul Kerryson. This production returned to London in December 2002 when the cast featured Caprice as 'Maureen'.
"A few wobbly accents aside (ex-Coronation Street star Adam Rickitt rarely sounds the real McCoy as the nerdy narrator), Paul Kerryson's miked-up production is as punchy and as raunchy as the writing demands. Cross-cutting deftly between intimate exchanges and crowd scenes, he introduces industrial-strength human warmth into a forbidding urban set dominated by steel walkways, brick walls and factory windows. There are a number of stand-out performances: Debbie Kurup as the hot-blooded, doomed Mimi, Neil Couperthwaite as the mincing drag queen Angel and the diva-voiced Wendy Mae Brown as civil liberties lawyer Joanne. But more happily still, there are stand-out songs: in particular, the blissful, gospel-inflected anthem Seasons of Love, which swiftly takes up lodging in your head and refuses to budge. No sick-bag required, after all." The Daily Telegraph
"Rent the Musical is back in the West End for eight weeks before it starts touring. This is the cult American musical which rapidly filled the theatre with loyal young fans who knew the show better than the actors. Now it has been relaunched in the West End with Adam Rickitt in a big new touring production. The show does for Nineties wannabe artists what the musical , Hair, did for the hippies of the Sixties... Director Paul Kerryson's production pumps up the volume... admittedly it is not exactly South Pacific, but already it is rather dated, wincingly PC, and the three dozen songs are instantly forgettable. What makes it worth a look, though, is the scruffy, youthful buzz and its raw power which makes it quite unlike any musical of the past 10 years." The Daily Express
Rent in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre opened on 4 December 2001 and closed on 26 January 2002, returned 5 December 2002 and closed on 8 March 2003.
Rent - 1998
Previewed 21 April 1998, opened 12 May 1998, closed 30 October 1999 at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.
Jonathan Larson's new musical Rent in London starring Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Krysten Cummings and Wilson Jermaine Heredia.
"The breakthrough musical of the nineties" Newsweek
ACT 1, SCENE 1 - MARK:" We begin on Christmas Eve with me, Mark, and my room-mate, Roger. We live in an industrial loft on the corner of 11th Street and Avenue B. Old rock and roll posters hang on the walls. They have Roger's picture advertising gigs as CBGB's and the Pyramid Club. We have an illegal wood-burning stove; its exhaust pipe crawls up to a skylight. All of our electrical appliances are plugged into one thick extension cord which snakes its way out of a window. Outside a small tent city has sprung up in the lot next to our building. Inside it's freezing because we have no heat."
"An explosive new musical" The Daily Mail
Jonathan Larson's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prizing winning musical Rent is an updated version of La Boheme that fuses rock, pop, gospel and soul in a new musical set in New York. Its about being young in New York, being brave and being scared, being in love and being in trouble, having hope in today and faith in tomorrow. The screaming fans and the standing ovations - it's all part of the phenomenon of Rent.
"At last, the West End regains its youth with triumphal Rent" The London Evening Standard
The cast Rent in London features Anthony Rapp as 'Mark', Adam Pascal as 'Roger', Krysten Cummings as 'Mimi' and Wilson Jermaine Heredia as 'Angel' with Bonny Lockhart as 'Benny', Jessica Tezier as 'Maureen', Jacqui Dubois as 'Joanne' and Jesse L Martin as 'Tom Collins'. The production has book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson and is directed by Michael Greif.
"Jonathan Larson's eclectic score is performed with real heart and vitality by an exceptionally accomplished cast" The Daily Telegraph
"Famously an instant New York hit in 1996, just weeks after the author's death at 35, Jonathan Larson's musical resets Puccini's La Boheme on New York's Lower East Side. The bohemians here are junkies and/or Aids-sufferers and Mimi, Puccini's tragic heroine, is both, although she looks healthy and sexy enough to stop traffic. It's all as believable as the weather forecast and, consequently, often about as moving. Yet, for all its soppiness, the show's raw vitality, classy rock score (Larson's inferior lyrics are largely inaudible) and powerhouse performances, especially from Adam Pascal as the struggling songwriter Mimi wants to melt her heart as well as thaw her tiny hand, make it thrilling... I predict Michael Greif's production will attract all those who love rock concerts and can forgive the author for snatching Mimi back from the big rehab clinic in the sky in what should be her heartbreaking death scene. Full marks to the five-piece band, which can probably be heard several hundred yards away in Piccadilly Circus, and to narrator Anthony Rapp, a Chris Evans lookalike but with charm, and Wilson Jermaine Heredia, sensational as a doomed drag queen. So rush to Rent. It's the hottest property in town." The News of the World
"The most exciting musical for a very long time, go and celebrate" Time Out
"This is the third megamusical from New York to arrive in the West End in so many weeks, and it lands like a spacecraft full of familiar-looking aliens and signalling wildly as if to say: 'Take me to your hearts, I'm real!' Rent, with music, lyrics and book by the late Jonathan Larson, has won more awards than it has ideas or good songs, but it carries an emotional cargo that could be hard to resist... The thing that most depresses me about Rent is what will most endear it to its fans: it is the way it wears its warm, mushy heart on its sleeve. Yes, you can take a show out of New York, but you cannot take New York out of the show; and even those who love that great city will recognise that mixture of compulsive exuberance, in-your-face, from-your-heart sincerity and well-meaning but oppressive political correctness that sometimes makes you recoil in despair... And yet Rent is not really about rent. The evil of money is not quite the point of it, though Benny, who has acquired a lot, is the enemy: the same Benny who actually offers the place to Roger and Mark rent-free. Clearly, on this point, the show is rather confused... The characters are a mixture of cocky poverty and innocent affluence... Underneath, they are the same: kind, caring, life-affirming and politically correct, huddled together in innocent warmth and the comforting knowledge that they are in a hit show." The Sunday Times
"You'll love it!" The Independent
"You could say Rent is a Nineties musical for the Generation X-ers with a raucous soundtrack, industrial designs and Brechtian techniques. You'd want to qualify that: it's an early Nineties musical that has taken four years to reach our shores... It's not new. It has the accoutrements of newness - the exotic and grungey costumes, the mix of styles, from rap to gospel to tango, and lots of Manhattan references. What it sells is an ambience that says: this is now. Or this was now when it was written... The narrator, Mark, is a video artist who is, characteristically, making a home movie about his friends. In this solipsistic world, parents are comic figures wittering into your voicemail, children and babies simply don't exist, and rent is something that gets in the way of your integrity as an artist. There's just Roger and Mark and Mimi. As they put it, succinctly enough: 'There's only us, there's only now.' In Rent, we have moved beyond the 'Me' generation and entered the 'Mimi' generation. Rent has been hyped as the future. Deep down, there's nothing here that couldn't have been written by our old Broadway colleagues, Ersatz and Schmaltz." The Independent on Sunday
The musical Rent in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre previewed from 21 April 1998, opened on 12 May 1998 and closed on 30 October 1999.