A 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s ground-breaking Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock musical, Rent, is to tour this autumn.
After opening at Theatr Clwyd for a short run the show will go on a three-week tour, prior to a Christmas Season at St. James Theatre, London. The co-production comes from Robert Mackintosh and Idili Theatricals Limited, in association with Theatr Clwyd and Wales Millennium Centre.
Directed by Bruce Guthrie Rent will star Ross Hunter (West End credits: We Will Rock You, Legally Blonde, Drew in Rock of Ages and The Book of Mormon) as Roger Davis; Billy Cullum (West End credits: Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Mark Cohen; and Ryan O’Gorman (West End credits: Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot) who will play Tom Collins.
Other casting: Shanay Holmes, Layton Williams, Philippa Stefani and Lucie Jones.
The cast will also include Kevin Yates, Jordan Laviniere, Christina Modestou, Bobbie Little, Jenny O’Leary and Katie Bradley.
Jonathan Larson’s musical, inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, won four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996.
Rent ran on Broadway for 12 years and premièred in London’s West End in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, where it ran for 18 months. It was adapted into a film in 2005.
Larson’s world is inhabited by a group of bohemian artists who struggle to maintain their friendships and their non-conformist ideals in New York’s East Village.
Facing their problems head on, they make personal self-discoveries and find what really matters most in life. The poignancy of the story was heightened when Jonathan Larson died on January 25 1996, the night before the show’s first off-Broadway performance at New York Theatre Workshop.
The much-loved score features songs such as Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight, I Should Tell You and the title song.
Director Bruce Guthrie said, “I am delighted to be working with a truly world-class creative team on this new production of Jonathan Larson’s classic musical.
“Our aim is to serve the fans of the show who have loved it so passionately since its ground-breaking première Off Broadway in 1996, while introducing it to a new generation of musical theatre fans.
“We want to capture the essence of bohemian New York City at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It’s a place of grime and excitement, where voices are fighting to be heard and the inhabitants are fighting to connect with one another, as well as fighting for their lives.
“The musical is a celebration of life and living in the moment. It’s blood and bone, sweat and tears, laughter and joy, despair, hate and love, all in this one remarkable year shared by a group of friends. It is a privilege to be working on one of the great ‘moment’ musicals and to celebrate 20 years of Rent.”
Tamara Harvey, artistic director of Theatr Clwyd, said: “Rent is a powerful and passionately life-affirming musical and we’re delighted to be working with Robert Mackintosh, Idili Theatricals Limited and Wales Millennium Centre to bring it to a new generation in this, its 20th Anniversary year.”
October 21-November 12, Theatr Clwyd, Mold
November 15-19, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
November 22-26, Malvern Festival Theatre
November 29-December 3, Wycombe Swan
December 8-January 28, St. James Theatre, London
2017 Tour Dates to be announced.