New London Production of Rent to Close in February 2008

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19 Dec 2007

Siobhan Donaghy as Mimi and Luke Evans as Roger in London's <I>Rent</I> revival.
Siobhan Donaghy as Mimi and Luke Evans as Roger in London's Rent revival.
Photo by Alastair Muir

The new London production of Rent, entitled Rent Remixed, has posted an early closing notice.

The updated version of Jonathan Larson's La Bohème-based rock musical opened at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre on Oct. 15 starring Denise Van Outen and former Sugarbabe, Siobhan Donagh.

The musical had been booking until April 2008 but will now take its final bow on Feb. 2, 2008. The show will be replaced by the acclaimed version of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute by South African company Isango/Portobello.

The Magic Flute, currently one of the Young Vic's seasonal offerings, will begin preview performances at the Duke of York's Feb. 11.

The re-orchestrated, reworked and redesigned production of Rent was given a contemporary makeover by director William Baker and music supervisor Steve Anderson, the creative team behind pop diva Kylie Minogue.

The show's spokesperson told that producers Ambassador Theater Group, Tulbart Productions and Michael Brenn are considering a possible life for the show on tour in Europe.

In the hope of making the show more accessible to London audiences, Baker reworked Larson's book, turning three of the central characters into English expatriates.

News of the closure comes just a week after it was announced that soap star Jessie Wallace will replace Van Outen in the role of Maureen beginning Dec. 22.

After an acclaimed run Off-Broadway, Rent opened on April 29, 1996, at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre, where the musical 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" and "One Song Glory."

For more on Rent, call (0)870 060 6623.