Kerry Ellis and Rory Taylor to Star in 20th Anniversary U.K Concert Tour of Rent

By Mark Shenton
13 Mar 2013

Kerry Ellis (the first British Elphaba in Wicked who later reprised the role on Broadway) and Rory Taylor (runner-up in ITV's "Superstar!" contest to find the lead for last year's arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar) will star in the 20th anniversary U.K. concert tour of Rent.



It begins performances April 25 at Manchester's Opera House, then continues to London's Hackney Empire (April 26), Liverpool's Auditorium (April 27), Newcastle's Mill Tyne Theatre (April 28), Cardiff's St. David's Hall (April 29), Birmingham's New Alexandra (April 30), Stoke's Regent's Theatre (May 2), Glasgow's Clyde Auditorium (May 3), The City Varieties in Leeds (May 4) and Southend's Cliffs Pavilion (May 5).

Ellis will play Mimi and Taylor will play Roger. They will be joined by Paul Ayres (as Mark), Nikki Davis-Jones (as Maureen), Leon Lopez (as Colin), Ian Stroughair (as Angel), Jemma Alexander (as Joanne) and Kenny Thompson (as Benny). The ensemble comprises Katie Bernstein, Joel Harper-Jackson, David Hinton-Gale and Tim Prottey-Jones.

Set in the East Village of New York City, Rent is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it is based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, and follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

This concert version of Rent marks the 20th anniversary since the show's first staged reading at New York Theatre Workshop in 1993. Rent last toured the U.K. in 2001 and was last seen in the West End in 2007. The original Broadway production closed on Sept. 7, 2008, after a 12-year run of 5,124 performances, the ninth-longest-running Broadway show of all time. The production grossed over $280 million. A film of the musical was released in 2005 starring original Broadway cast members Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal.

Rent in concert is produced and directed by Daniel Osland-Wood for JP Productions, with musical direction Rosalind Jones.

For further details and to book, visit http://rentinconcert.co.uk.