Thursday, September 21

RENT – Paradise in Augustine’s

Theatre joins us together in a shared experience to marvel at talent, commitment, application and teamwork. And to ponder the writer’s message. Edinburgh-based Bare Productions drew a rowdy standing ovation for this 1990s tale of fear and solidarity in AIDS riddled Bohemian Manhattan. 

My neighbour for the evening, a transgender Dane called Daniel, informed me that RENT is very popular in the queer community. He enjoyed the show, saying he likes slice-of-life style theatre and that, while this particular musical is no longer contemporary, having been created before he was born, it is still very relevant. Appreciating and understanding the social history of the queer community is important.

That’s the magic of Edinburgh Fringe: sharing views and exchanging human warmth with someone you’ve just met – whose life experiences, age and perspectives are worlds apart.

Community is everything in the face of adversity sings this show: very apt given that it is produced by a community theatre company in their hometown. RENT had a full house, most certainly with many who knew the cast, and it is set to be a sell-out for its run.

Rory McKeon is stunning as Angel. His acting was spot on and his singing and dancing impressive. How he didn’t face-plant in those stilettos is a miracle! The remaining cast did not have such ebulliant characters to portray, but all of them lived their parts heart and soul.

The set was simple yet effective and the ensemble were consistent, with one particular choral piece sending shivers down my spine.

The musicians, too, were solid, but the sound system could have benefitted from balancing, as the band drowned out some of the singing. Moreover, one or two songs would have benefitted from a softer treatment, giving the overall production more texture.

Playing 4th-12th August  20.00 – 22.15,

Reviewer: Kathleen Mansfield

Reviewed: 4th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.