The musical Rent is celebrating its 20th anniversary (kind of – see this from font of all theatre knowledge Mark Shenton) – and the touring concert returns to Liverpool next month with a co-incidentally Scouse-tastic cast.
The large scale show first toured in April this year, but went down so well it comes back to the Echo Arena on November 30 for the closing night. Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton stars as (ahem) ‘sexy lesbian performance artist’ Maureen, while former Brookside actor and top bicep-owner Leon Lopez and Wirral-born Superstar runner up Rory Taylor reprise their previous roles.
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, the musical is based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, and 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.
This production is performed as a concert, rather than a full-on musical theatre show, and apparently it is a format that suits the show well.
Natasha is the latest in a long line of famous Maureens, and joins the company of Idina Menzel, Nicole Sherzinger and Denise Van Outen. She said: “I love Rent so I am made up to be playing the role of Maureen. She’s a great character…a little bit cheeky, flirtatious and injects some real comedy moments into the show.”
Rory Taylor said: “I had the most amazing time on tour with Rent – 20th Anniversary Concert in April and I am so excited that the public want more. I can’t wait to get back on the road and play the role of Roger again.”