RENT Review: Theatre Online

Rent has finished here in Loughborough and once again CTC are proving that they are a very talented and professional company.

Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson and is very loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in Lower Manhattan’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

There are superb performances from Tom Pinny as Mark, Ash Bright as Roger, Michael Gamble as Tom (standing in for Craig Butterworth), Kristian Cunningham as Angel, Lucy Brown as Mimi, Holly Easter as Maureen, Eve Taylor as Joanne and Aaron Murray as Benny.

They are very well supported by a large energetic and powerful ensemble. The vocal performances are of a very high standard and songs like “Rent” “Seasons Of Love” “I Should Tell You”, “One Song Glory”, “Cover You”, “Without You”, “Maureen’s Tango” and “Take Me Or Leave Me” were great to listen to. The five piece band conducted by the MD Vicki Hing (assisted by Abi Parker) made a great sound and was very well balanced with the performers. The singing of Seasons of Love was beautifully performed by the whole cast.

The Lighting Design by Robert Bridges is excellent as is the sound by Rob Temperton and Harry Bridge.

The set is simple and used well by the cast and two moveable staircases are brilliant. The stage itself looks startling with painted designs which fit well with the period of the show.

The Stage Manager, Adrian Wray and his stage team kept everything moving smoothly and at a good pace.

As usual Director and choreographer Michael Gamble certainly made sure that everyone had plenty to do and the dancing was exciting and dynamic. He has obviously worked hard with the cast to ensure they were all heavily immersed in the action. In tonight’s performance he also played Tom proving he can direct and perform. A great asset to the company.

The show ended with a whole theatre standing ovation which was very well deserved.

To be honest I have to say that Rent has not been one of my favourite shows but each time I see it I seem enjoy it a little more. CTC’s production has given me more of an understanding of what it is about and tonight I really enjoyed it. I feel now I can happily see it again! I Loved the music too. Thank you CTC – could I be turning into a “Rent-head?” Who knows?

Once again CTC have produced a show of immense quality and I would recommend you seeing it before it closes at Loughborough Town Hall on Saturday.

Original source: Theatre Online Facebook page