RENT, the musical, written by Jonathan Larson, is about the homeless, artistic community in New York, looking heavily at the LGBTQ+ community. When it was written, AIDS was a severe issue in the LGBTQ+ community, when treatment wasn’t given to ‘queers’. Jonathan Larson died on the morning of the first preview on Off-Broadway, where they mourned Larson, by singing through the musical, before reaching the energetic La Vie Boheme, where they ended up performing the rest as it was supposed to be performed.
This version that I saw at the Fringe was simply very good. I hate to say, but I was semi expecting to see a well performed show, but ishly produced. I actually thought it would be to ambitious to stage a full length Broadway musical at the Fringe. But I was very pleasantly surprised. It was very professionally produced, almost west end standard. And the cast were fabulous. A special mention for Kieran Parrott who played Roger who’s acting was so raw and emotional, creating an amazing character who was full of self-lothaing, with an amazing voice. Rebecca Matheson, Maureen, and Nina Rose Naylor, Joanne, both had spectacular voices swallowing up the whole theatre space. The story of Angel and Collins is a very emotional one and was brought to life by Sam Long and Robbie Caprari-Sharpe. Caprari-Sharpe brought this wonderful character to life, and managed to get me in tears in the audience, which is no easy feat whatsoever, especially with his I’ll Cover You (Reprise) .Basically a special mention for the whole cast. They were fabulous. They were also absolutely lovely, which is important, and I commend them on such a professional performance.
UPDATE: So after realising that when I wrote this, I was very tired and sleep deprived, and I was so excited by the show that I wanted to get it out. I forgot to talk about so much. For one, Kieran Faulkner, who played Mark, was fabulous, his chemistry with Roger created the backbone of the story, showing a really lovely friendship, that they are both broken and they are helping each other. What you Own, has quickly become one of my favourite songs, purely because of they way they performed it. Kieran brought this loveable, awkward character to life, and I loved it. I also have to mention the woman who played Mimi, Lizzie, At first, I didn’t like her character , but she quickly grew on me, and towards the end of the show, my heart could not take anymore. They whole cast were very talented, aided by the wonderful band, who brought the whole performance to life. I also have to mention the staging, the two levels were very effective and the design of the set, set the perfect mood for the show. I also found out that they only started rehearsals in January? Which is very impressive. The Chorus numbers made the show, the harmonies were beautiful, and heartfelt.
It was full of spunk, and had an amazing community feel to it. The story was heartwarming and so political and relevant to when it was written. It was such an icon for the LGBTQ+ community and so necessary, the impact of it, brought with the poignancy of the characters, creating a series of emotional stories. I wanted to hug all of the characters, and tell them it was okay, but I felt that at least half of them would punch me if I did. The music is heartwarming. I don’t know anyone who can listen to Seasons of Love, without tearing up, or at least ‘awwwing’ in appreciation. The music tells the story perfectly, bringing the community of the audience together.
I loved RENT, and I loved this version of it. It was very professional and they were so talented and they pulled it off with flying colours. Must See Show for the Fringe