Rent goes up at Hope Mill!

Published: 24 September 2020
Reporter: David Upton

RENT due at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester sees Rent take up tenancy from October 30 to December 6.

The revival of the classic rock musical will run to 'socially distanced' audiences with a 12-strong cast forming a ‘bubble’ for the duration of the show’s run. It was due to play at the venue in July, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The 12 company members, originally cast back in February, will receive a COVID-19 test prior to being placed in one household (bubble) for the length of the run.

Jocasta Almgill (&Juliet, Dreamgirls—West End) will play Joanne; Blake Patrick Anderson (Be More Chill—The Other Palace, Closer to Heaven—Off West End / Above the Stag) will play Mark; Tom Francis (Arts Ed 2020 graduate) will mark his professional debut as Roger; Ahmed Hamad (The Boy in the Dress—RSC, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat—West End) will play Benny; Dom Hartley-Harris (George Washington in Hamilton—West End, Bat Out of Hell—Manchester & West End) will play Collins; Millie O’Connell (Olivier-nominated as Anne Boleyn in SIX The Musical—West End & UK Tour, 42nd Street—West End) will play Maureen; Maiya Quansah-Breed (Olivier nominated as Catherine Parr in SIX The Musical—West End & UK Tour) will play Mimi; Alex Thomas-Smith (Dear Evan Hansen—West End, Bat Out of Hell—West End) will play Angel.

Completing the cast in Featured Ensemble roles are 2020 Royal Academy of Music Masters graduate Kayla Carter; Allie Daniel (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie—film), Isaac Hesketh (Book of Mormon—UK tour) and Bethany Terry (West Side Story—Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, Bat Out of Hell—West End).

Director Luke Sheppard said, “this production places this groundbreaking show in the hands of a new generation and, as we have shifted the lens on the production over the last months, the promise of this cast telling this story in these extraordinary times has felt increasingly vital. Hope Mill Theatre continues to work tirelessly to make this production happen in a safe and secure way and it's a privilege to be working with this visionary venue to bring this special production to the stage."

Hope Mill Theatre will be operating with strict COVID guidelines. The venue will not allow groups of more than six per booking from different households and will be collecting audience details to comply with the Test & Trace scheme. Some performances have already sold out.

The show premièred in 1996 before moving to Broadway later the same year and has been staged all over the world, including in the West End in 1998 and in 2005 was released as a movie.