Review: Rent: Re-Mixed

Posted by Matt Bourne on 04:55 with No comments
Rent: Re-Mixed

So Rent is back, but is it any good?  For those of you not in the know, Rent is a reworking of La Boheme with the  tuberculosis replaced by AIDS as the killer disease.  It features a young group of friends who live in a squat in alphabet street over the course of a couple of years as they find love, lose love come to terms with friends dying and reuniting.  The original features a fantastic rock/grunge soundtrack which bounces along the story at a cracking pace.  It also happens to be my favoriute musical as well, so there was alot riding on this remix.

 So how does this new interpretation stand up.  Well, it tries hard.  Some of the more die hard Rent fans may not like some of the remixing, but it's still good.  The cast are young and good looking and really come across as loving the show.  The first half builds to the introduction of the rather fabulous Denise Van Outen as Maureen, who bounces onto the stage at the end of the half.  From the point she enters, and you simply cant take your eyes off Ms.Outen.  From that moment onwards, until the final bow she simply livens the whole show up.  But the real find here is the star in the making, Luke Evans who is quite simply, amazing as Roger.  His vocal performance is sublime and every time he belts out another tune the rest of the cast seemed to soar with him and raise their performances, most notably former Sugarbabe Sioban Donaghy who seems a little lost  without him in her vocal performance.  Other standouts are most defeinetly Leon Lopez as the soulul Collins and Francesca Jackson as Joanne.

Sure this doesn't reach the lofty heights of the original cast or the recent movie, but it's still good.  Any show that can get the audience mooing has to be worth the price of admission.  'No day but today' is the the late Jonathan Larsson's mantra for the show, so why not make it today that you drop by the Duke of York's and give this new version a try.

Matt Bourne