Theatre News

Hope Mill revival of Rent to be broadcast online

Luke Sheppard’s production will be presented for remote audiences

(© Feast Creative)
The sell-out Hope Mill Theatre production of Rent will be broadcast online over a number of dates during its Manchester run.

The new revival of the cult classic is set to open at the end of this month, with the cast currently rehearsing in a bubble.

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

The Umbrella Rooms will be capturing the show, which will then be available for a limited number of audience members who purchase tickets for allocated dates. Audiences can register via the Hope Mill for priority booking.

William Whelton, executive director of Hope Mill Theatre, said: "One of the hardest challenges we faced as a venue was producing Rent with the current restrictions on our seating capacity as a result of social distancing being in place. The option of operating at 50 per cent capacity during the run was financially completely unviable and meant we stood to have a large
financial deficit as an organisation, which at this time we are unable to allow. So being offered the opportunity from the rights holders to make up our lost capacity with the chance for audiences to view an online version of the show is incredible and has allowed us to move forward with staging such an
ambitious production during this time."

The show will be presented on 27, 28 and 29 November, 4, 5 and 6, 11, 12 and 13, 18, 19 and 20 December, with performances beginning at 7.30pm BST. Tickets go on sale on 9 October.

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".

Watch the cast pose for portaits:

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