Principal casting has been announced for the upcoming Rent in Concert tour, which celebrates 20 years since the show's first staged performance.
Joining the previously announced Kerry Ellis (Mimi) and Rory Taylor (Roger) in Jonathan Larson's hit musical are Nikki Davis-Jones (Maureen), Paul Ayres (Mark), Leon Lopez (Collins), Ian Stroughair (Angel), Jemma Alexander (Joanne) and Kenny Thompson (Benny). The ensemble includes Joel Harper-Jackson.
Set in the East Village of New York City, Rent is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the show is based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, and follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
Kerry Ellis has starred in numerous West End shows, including We Will Rock You, Wicked and Oliver, and has also released a solo album "Anthems". She has also held several solo concerts. Rory Taylor was runner up on ITV's Superstar.
Nikki Davis-Jones is about to appear in new musical Lift at the Soho Theatre, and other credits include Wicked. Paul Ayres' credits include We Will Rock You and Jersey Boys. Leon Lopez is reprising the role of Collins, having played it previously in the West End, and in a gala concert version of the show. Ian Stroughair performs a regular cabaret as alter-ego Velma Celli. Jemma Alexander's credits include Lend Me a Tenor. Kenny Thompson's credits include Mother Courage and Her Children.
Rent in Concert is touring to Manchester (25 April 2013), Liverpool (27 April), Newcastle-upon-Tyne (28 April), Cardiff (29 April), Birmingham (30 April), Stoke-on-Trent (2 May), Glasgow (3 May), Leeds (4 May) and Southend (5 May).