|REVIEW - RENT School Edition - Evening Post|
Review: Rent School Edition, Nottingham Arts Theatre
Packed with potent popular music, Rent is squarely based on Puccini's La Bohème; and like that work it's an opera rather than a musical.
The action isn't suspended whenever someone feels the urge for a spot of song and dance: instead the narrative is embedded in the musical content; it's driven forward by the songs.
And, when the Youth Theatre cast, directed by Maggie Andrew, are let loose on them, what songs they are. Attack, precision and verve are always and everywhere impressive.
Rent, done near the start by the whole company, is a case in point. So are One Song Glory from Roger (Sam Barson) and Over the Moon from Maureen (Amy Pickance) and her splendid backers. Somewhat in contrast, Collins (Will Rogers) gets real subtlety and emotion into the reprise of I'll Cover You. Rogers is a fine voice. So is Georgie Levers, who plays Mimi.
There's a confidence too in the spoken bits – US accents are done remarkably well. This is clear right from the start when Mark (Gizmo Andrew) comes on to narrate us into the evening.
A couple of pettifogging quibbles just for the record – neither of them matters. Considering this is 1989-90, mobiles are too much in evidence. And unless you're familiar with Puccini's original you might find the precise narrative hard to follow. There are close parallels with La Bohème in terms of character and incident and even an occasional nod towards the music.
This isn't a vicarage tea-party plot: every other character seems to be HIV-positive and/or a drug addict and/or a transvestite. But it's vital: you know you're alive whilst you're watching it.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 06:45|
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