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Rent musical revival at Hope Mill Theatre full casting announced

Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, Spring Awakening) directs the production, which begins rehearsals on Monday

The cast of Rent (photo edited by WhatsOnStage)
© Dujonna Gift-Simms

Exclusive: Casting has been revealed for the upcoming revival of Rent at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester.

The show is set to go ahead from next month with a socially distanced audience, after initially delaying its summer run.

Jocasta Almgill (& Juliet) will play Joanne, Blake Patrick Anderson (Be More Chill) will play Mark, Tom Francis (Arts Ed 2020 graduate) will mark his professional debut as Roger, Ahmed Hamad (The Boy in the Dress ) will play Benny, Dom Hartley-Harris (Hamilton) will play Collins, Millie O'Connell (SIX) will play Maureen, Maiya Quansah-Breed (SIX) will play Mimi and Alex Thomas-Smith (Dear Evan Hansen) will play Angel.

Completing the cast are Kayla Carter (2020 Royal Academy of Music Masters graduate), Allie Daniel (Everybody's Talking About Jamie film), Isaac Hesketh (The Book of Mormon) and Bethany Terry (West Side Story).

The 12-strong cast will be forming a ‘bubble' for the duration of the show's run in Manchester and receive regular testing. Audiences will be asked to wear face coverings during the show or visors for those who are exempt.

The piece will be directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet) with choreography by Tom Jackson Greaves, with musical direction by Katy Richardson, set and costume design by David Woodhead, LX design by Howard Hudson, sound design by Paul Gatehouse and casting by Pearson Casting. Artwork is by Feast Creative and video content by The Umbrella Rooms.

See full cast portraits below:

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Watch the cast pose for portaits:

Based on Puccini's La Bohème, Rent follows a group of impoverished young artists who live in New York under the shadow of HIV/AIDs. After first premiering in 1996, the show first ran in the UK in 1998, with a film released in 2005. It has music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson, with numbers including "La Vie Boheme", "Without You" and "Seasons of Love".

Rent runs from 30 October to 6 December, with tickets on sale now.

Sheppard said: "This production of Rent is about placing this groundbreaking show in the hands of a new generation of exceptional musical theatre performers, and as we have shifted the lens on the production over the last months, the promise of this cast telling this story in these extraordinary times has felt increasingly vital. Most of them have been waiting in the wings since we cast the production at the start of the year and I'm enormously grateful for their patience and commitment. The Hope Mill Theatre continues to work tirelessly to make this production happen in a safe and secure way and it's a privilege to be working with this visionary venue to bring this special production to the stage."

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