Wilmas Rating [rating=4]
The 20th Anniversary tour of Rent In Concert made its second stop on the tour last night at London’s Hackney Empire, playing to a sold out audience of 1,300. With a star studded cast including Kerry Ellis, Nikki Davis Jones, Rory Taylor and Ian Stroughair, it is not surprising that the tour has sold well!
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, this musical has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, the show 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.
Nikki Davis Jones (best known for understudying the role of Elphaba in Wicked the Musical) stole the show with her performance as Maureen. Her comedic performance of Over The Moon was incredible and the seductive Take Me Or Leave Me made jaws drop in the audience, with her crawling around in a PVC cat suit!
It would take me all day to list the extraordinary talent of this cast. Kerry Ellis (star of hit musicals Wicked, Les Miserable, We Will Rock You and many more) heads up the cast and probably the most well known name in the show but every one of these performers are established in what they do.
Ian Stroughair hasn’t been seen in the west end much recently (since he understudied the role of Mary Sunshine in Chicago back in 2009) but with his powerful performance of cross-dresser Angel, we are sure to see a lot more of him around the west end from now on. Impersonating a woman isn’t something Ian has had to learn for this part, he can often be found performing in London as his alter-ego, cabaret star Velma Celli! His next show at the London Hippodrome looks set to be a Rent extravaganza with special guest Nikki Davis Jones (May 17th).
For more information and to book tickets for Rent In Concert click here
Click here to watch video interviews with Kerry Ellis, Nikki Davis Jones and many more west end stars!
Mimi: Kerry Ellis
Roger: Rory Taylor
Mark: Paul Ayres
Maureen: Nikki Davis-Jones
Collins: Leon Lopez
Angel: Ian Stroughair
Joanne: Jemma Alexander
Benny: Kenny Thompson
Katie Bernstein (Cover Mimi/Maureen)
Joel Harper-Jackson (Cover Angel)
David Hinton-Gale (Cover Benny)
Tim Prottey-Jones (Cover Roger/Mark)
Beth Humphreys (Cover Joanne)
Produced and Directed by: