Hope Mill Theatre’s smash-hit, critically acclaimed production of the classic rock musical Rent is to return with Live performances at the Manchester venue from August 6 to September 19, 2021.

As rehearsals start, we reveal six new members of cast:

Luke Bayer (Mark) was alternate Jamie New in ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ in the West End and starred as Robbie in ‘Soho Cinders’ at Charing Cross Theatre.

Michael Ahomka-Lindsay (Benny) is making his professional stage debut after graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he was a recipient of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship.

Iona Fraser played Deloris in ‘Sister Act the Musical’ at Shanklin Theatre.

Alison Driver, Joe Foster, Karl Lankester are recent graduates making their professional stage debuts.

They join Tom Francis (Roger), Jocasta Almgill (Joanne), Dom Hartley-Harris (Collins), Millie O’Connell (Maureen), Maiya Quansah-Breed (MImi), Alex Thomas-Smith (Angel) and Isaac Hesketh who are returning to the production.

Rent, directed by Luke Sheppard (‘& Juliet’), is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson, loosely based on Puccini’s opera ‘La Bohème’. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists living, loving and working in Manhattan’s East Village, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

It premiered Off Broadway in 1996 before moving to Broadway later the same year. The show has been staged all over the world, including in the West End in 1998 and in 2005 was released as a motion picture. It features hit songs such as ‘Rent’, ‘Without You’, ‘La Vie La Bohème’ and the iconic ‘Seasons of Love’.

William Whelton, Executive Director of Hope Mill Theatre, said:

“It was so heart-breaking to have to close our 2020 production of RENT after only five shows, due to entering another lockdown. We were so thrilled that we managed to capture the show and share it with audiences online. The reaction to the show both critically and with audiences alike was truly overwhelming. However, we built this show to be experienced live and there is still a lot of unfinished business with this special show. It is with much excitement that we are bringing back ‘Rent’ to Hope Mill Theatre for another run, and once again share this truly electric, heart-warming and unique version in person with our audiences.”


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