Exclusive: Casting has been unveiled for the Hope Mill revival of Rent, which returns next month to play at the Manchester venue.
Six new faces join the production for its second outing, after the piece had its original run disrupted by the pandemic (forcing all subsequent performances to be delivered digitally).
With music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson, the musical follows a group of Bohemians trying to forge a life for themselves against the backdrop of the AIDs crisis.
Joining the piece are Luke Bayer (Everybody's Talking About Jamie) as Mark, Michael Ahomka-Lindsay (making his professional stage debut) as Benny, as well as Iona Fraser (Sister Act) and Alison Driver, Joe Foster, Karl Lankester, each making their professional stage debuts.
Tom Francis (Roger), Jocasta Almgill (Joanne), Dom Hartley-Harris (Collins), Millie O'Connell (Maureen), Maiya Quansah-Breed (MImi), Alex Thomas-Smith (Angel) and Isaac Hesketh will all be returning to the piece.
Running from 6 August to 19 September, Rent is directed by Luke Sheppard, with choreography by Tom Jackson Greaves, musical supervision by Katy Richardson, set and costume designer by David Woodhead, lighting design by Howard Hudson, sound design by Paul Gatehouse, projection design by George Reeve, musical direction by Chris Poon, assistant direction by Priya Patel Appleby and casting by Pearson Casting.
William Whelton, executive director of Hope Mill Theatre, said: "It was so heart-breaking to have to close our 2020 production of Rent after only five shows, due to entering another lockdown. We were so thrilled that we managed to capture the show and share it with audiences online.
"The reaction to the show both critically and with audiences alike was truly overwhelming. However, we built this show to be experienced live and there is still a lot of unfinished business with this special show. It is with much excitement that we are bringing back Rent to Hope Mill Theatre for another run, and once again share this truly electric, heart-warming and unique version in person with our audiences."
WhatsOnStage gave the show a full five-star write-up, saying that "the storytelling and consistently magnetic performances pound with dazzling energy."