Rent Hits the Road on 20-venue UK tour, 5 FebDate: 10 November 2000
A new production of the multi award-winning Broadway musical Rent hits the road in early 2001 on a major national tour. The tour begins on 5 February at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre and continues until July 2000 to 19 other venues.
Inspired by Puccini's La Bohême, Jonathan Larson's musical updates the plot to modern day New York where a community of East End squatters battle to fulfil their aspirations against the reality of rent demands and Aids.
Rent originally opened at the New York Theatre Workshop on 13 February 1996 before moving to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on 29 April that year. The death of 35-year-old creator and composer Larson, who died of an aortic aneurysm shortly after the final dress rehearsal, transformed the musical into a cause celebre amongst New York theatre-goers. The show received rave reviews and immediately became a sell-out hit, with audiences waiting months for tickets and many fanatical 'Rentheads' queueing nightly to see the show again and again. The West End production of Rent played for 18 months at the Shaftesbury Theatre, from 12 May 1998 to 30 October 1999.
Rent went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and make a clean sweep of the 1996 New York theatre awards - winning four Tonys including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book; the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical; six Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, Best Music, Best Lyrics and Best Book; the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical; the Drama League Award for Best Musical; three Obie Awards including Outstanding Book, Music & Lyrics and Outstanding Direction; and two Theatre World Awards.
Following Leicester, the new touring production of Rent continues to Leeds, Northampton, Plymouth, Southend, Edinburgh, Reading, Manchester, Newcastle, Stoke, Bath, Glasgow, Southampton, High Wycombe, Wolverhampton, Woking, Belfast, Cardiff, Sheffield and Bradford.