Rent

As Jonathon Larson’s most well-known and best-loved work, any production of Rent has high standards to live up to. Sadly this production didn’t measure up. It was a vastly varied performance with moments that shone, but also had others that fell decidedly flat. While this production showcased some impressive talent, it failed to convey the emotional authenticity needed to make this show great, and much of the singing was unimpressive.The musical performances were mixed, and while some actors were clearly talented, the abilities of others in the cast brought down the level of the whole show. However, there were some that stood out - both Katerina Page and Ruaridh MacPhee gave impressive performances as Mimi and Mark respectively. The chemistry between the characters helped rescue the show from complete disaster, they were believable as friends and were able to use each other’s reactions to further the plot. The blocking and choreography is well adapted to the space: it takes advantage of the venue to create an atmospheric production.Though most musicals at the Fringe are edited for length, it is still necessary to have the plot make sense without previous knowledge of the story. It is also desirable to keep the emotional integrity of the show. This production sadly does neither - though I am familiar with the story I occasionally found it hard to keep a grasp on the events being conveyed. The attempts at emotional development during songs do not make up for the amount that is cut. Though the effort in this production appears genuine it fails to bring anything new to the show and does not live up to the potential it possesses.

Reviews by Nicole Adam

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Performances

The Blurb

Inspired by Puccini's La Boheme, 'Rent' breathes rock-musical life into the characters that are often ignored, overlooked, or avoided. It follows a group of friends living in New York's Alphabet City as they battle with AIDS, drugs and society.

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