Full casting has been announced for Hope Mill Theatre’s upcoming revival of Rent.
Running at the Manchester fringe venue from nest month, the principal cast features: Jocasta Almgill (& Juliet) as Joanne, Blake Patrick Anderson (Be More Chill) as Mark, Tom Francis (professional debut) as Roger, Ahmed Hamad (The Boy in the Dress) as Benny, Dom Hartley-Harris (Hamilton) as Collins, Millie O’Connell (Six) as Maureen, Maiya Quansah-Breed (Six) as Mimi and Alex Thomas-Smith (Dear Evan Hansen) as Angel.
Completing the cast are Kayla Carter, Allie Farrell-Daniel, Isaac Hesketh and Bethany Terry.
Directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, Spring Awakening, In the Heights), this new production of Rent was originally scheduled to go ahead in the summer, but will now play to socially-distanced audiences at the Manchester theatre from 30th October. In line with Government guidelines surrounding live performance, the cast will form a ‘bubble’ for the Manchester run and will receive regular testing. Audiences will be also be required to wear a face covering during performances.
Rent features direction by Luke Sheppard and choreography by Tom Jackson Greaves. Musical direction is by Katy Richardson, set and costume design is by David Woodhead, lighting design is by Howard Hudson, sound design is by Paul Gatehouse and casting is by Pearson Casting.
Loosely based on the Puccini opera La Bohème, Rent tells the story of a group of young artists struggling to survive and create a life in the thriving days of Manhattan’s bohemian Alphabet City, all under the shadow of the HIV / AIDS epidemic. Featuring book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, the musical premiered to massive acclaim in 1996, winning Larson the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that year (a prize sadly awarded posthumously following Larson’s tragic death just days before the show’s Off-Broadway premiere). Rent premiered in the West End in 1998, with subsequent major UK productions occurring at the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2007, and at the St James Theatre in 2016.
Rent runs at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre from 30th October to 6th December. Tickets are on sale now.
Cover photo: Millie O’Connell, Alex Thomas-Smith, Maiya Quansah-Breed, Tom Francis, Jocasta Almgill and Blake Patrick Anderson. © Dujonna Gift-Simms