Jonathan Larson's La Bohème-based rock musical, starring Denise Van Outen and Sugababe Siobhan Donaghy, is now due to make its first public performance on Oct. 3. So far, the previously rescheduled press night remains Oct. 15.
The decision to delay the first preview was made only two hours before the start of the show. A source said that box-office personnel at the Duke of York's Theatre were frantically ringing ticket holders to inform them of the delay.
The re-orchestrated, reworked and redesigned production is being given a contemporary, digital makeover by director William Baker and music supervisor Steve Anderson, the creative team behind pop diva Kylie Minogue.
Produced by Ambassador Theater Group, Tulbart Prods. and Michael Brenn, the London revival is the first major professional staging of the show to divert from the original version produced by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theater Workshop.
Van Outen, who plays the role of Maureen, made her West End breakthrough as Roxie Hart in Chicago and was last seen on the London stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tell Me On a Sunday. She was also a panelist in the BBC's latest West End casting reality show "Any Dream Will Do" and co-hosted the U.S. reality casting show "Grease: You're The One That I Want." The cast also features Siobhan Donaghy, a founding member of Sugababes, as Mimi with Luke Evans as Roger, Oliver Thornton as Mark, Leon Lopez as Collins, Jay Webb as Angel, Francesca Jackson as Joanne and Craig Stein as Benny.
The creative team includes Steve Anderson (music supervision), Mark Bailey (design), David Howe (lighting design) and Sebastian Frost (sound design).
After an acclaimed run Off-Broadway, Rent opened on April 29, 1996, at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre where the show continues to run.
With book, music and lyrics by the late Jonathan Larson, the original cast included Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Wilson Jermaine Heredia and Jesse L. Martin. Michael Greif directed with choreography by Marlies Yearby. Larson's score features such songs as "Rent," "I'll Cover You," "Seasons of Love," "One Song Glory."
In another West End first, tickets for Rent will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, similar to that used for concerts and priced £30.
In a recent statement, Howard Panter, Joint Chief Executive of The Ambassador Theatre Group, said, "I am delighted to be producing Rent. This is a musical about young people and for young people. We have therefore chosen what we believe to be an appropriate new ticket policy which young people are using and understand."
For more on Rent call (0)870 060 6623.