RENT – UK Tour

Finally an outstanding version of RENT is on UK Tour that truly does justice to the original Broadway piece.

RENT is a rock musical like no other. It’s the story of a small group of friends who form an incredible bond one Christmas Eve. The group are all, in one way or another, troubled bohemians and are suffering in the modern world of 90s New York City. Dealing with poverty, drugs and most notably the issues that many faced at the time with the rise of HIV/aids.

Their incredible relationships take you on a journey that is at times humorous and at other times very painful – and this is all delivered exceptionally well by a stunning cast.

You’re usually a “renthead” or you’re not. Many who have seen the show go to see it again and again – you can see why though, in a show where you can genuinely feel a connection between a part of yourself and a part of the show. Rent is more than a show, it’s an artistic representation of struggle and pain, love and happiness.

A truly stunning three story set greets the audience which is used to it’s utmost potential by the cast and also by the live band who delivered a great rock score with absolute professionalism.

The best part about this show is that it has been perfectly cast – even the household name of Lucie Jones is rightly in place for her ability. That is clear when she makes her stunning entrance in “Over The Moon” – a song usually so far west that the audience have lost the plot line at this point – was delivered perfectly as was “Take Me”, the duet with an impressive Shanay Holmes playing Joanne.

The credits are spread throughout this talented cast. Billy Cullum is outstanding as Mark, Ryan O’Gorman stunning as Collins and Layton Williams as Angel – you will have come across them all if you’ve been following our website.

Mimi is played by Philippa Stefani who does not disappoint. In fact, if the whole cast wasn’t so strong she’d have totally stolen the show as Mimi. A stunning portrayal of her character in Act One followed by a capitvating emotional performance in Act Two. I’m not ashamed to say it was Mimi that broke me late in Act Two.

One of the things I love to see in RENT is how the ensemble is used. The ensemble in this production are incredible. Not just supporting the overall story but lifting it each time they are on stage. From their delicious solos to their energy and quality when they’re out of focus.

The show has been wonderfully directed with some new ideas to help to convey the story, which for an audience member who hasn’t seen the show before, can be a little hard to follow. Bruce Guthrie has Directed Jonathan Larson’s masterpiece with powerful authenticity.

Highlights not mentioned above include “Here Goes” – a beautiful duet in the middle of “La Vie Boheme” which is an energetic carnival of fun to spectacuarly end Act One. “Out Tonight” and “Light My Candle” are stunning (the show really starts to flex it’s quality here) and from then on it’s superb.

Be prepared for the emotional roller-coaster to come in Act Two. The show is strangely uplifting, whilst at the same time heart-wrenching. A beautiful ending may leave you with tears in your eyes but you’ll leave the theatre utterly fulfilled.

RENT plays the Liverpool Empire until Saturday 4th March and then continues it’s UK Tour. For tickets this week, visit

About Author /

Rob Stanway is the Founder of At The Theatre. He has reviewed the UK's best touring theatre (and much of the west end) for this website since 2005.

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