First Night Takeover: 20th anniversary Rent at the St James Theatre

14 Dec
Posted in: Opening Nights
Author: Perry O'Bree
Perry O'Bree at Rent's opening night

Our #FirstNightTakeover series continues with Perry O'Bree attending the opening (on 13 December 2016) of the 20th anniversary revival of Jonathan Larson's RENT, which, following a short tour, has now transferred - and already sold out! - at London's St James Theatre. 

Larson’s musical, inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, won four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996. Set in New York's East Village, the story centres on a group of bohemian artists who struggle to maintain their relationships and their non-conformist ideals. Facing their problems (including the ever-looming spectre of AIDS) head on, they make personal self-discoveries and find what really matters most in life. The poignancy of the story was heightened when Jonathan Larson died of an aortic dissection on 25 January 1996, the night before the show’s first Off-Broadway performance at New York Theatre Workshop.

RENT's much-loved score features songs such as Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight, I Should Tell You and the title song. Which of these are the stars' favourites? Perry found out...

He got up-close and personal with all of the show's stars and director Bruce Guthrie, as well as celebrity guests including Samantha Barks, Cameron Mackintosh (whose brother Robert has produced RENT) and Broadway star Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of narrator Mark in New York.

After you've taken a look at Perry's tweets and video below, be sure to check out RENT's #StageFaves page and get even more social with the show and its cast (we've got #AllIWantForChristmas and other fan merchandise for each and every one of them!). RENT runs until 28 January 2017 at the St James, the final production before the theatre is renamed The Other Palace.