IT’S back to the day job for Lucie Jones now, after appearing on the BBC’s Eurovision: You Decide. Which is why you’ll find her playing Maureen Johnson, in the new 20th anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s Rent, at the Festival Theatre next week.
The 2009 X Factor finalist is especially excited to be bringing the show to the Capital, having just been chosen to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Never Give Up On You.
She said: “I can’t wait to perform in Edinburgh, home to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972.
“I’ll be sure to visit the Usher Hall when I’m in town with Rent to soak up some of that Eurovision history.”
A ground-breaking Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical, Rent was inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème and is set in a world inhabited by a group of bohemian artists who struggle to maintain their friendships and their non-conformist ideals in New York’s East Village.
Facing their problems 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 on 25 January, 1996, the night before the show’s first off-Broadway performance at New York Theatre Workshop.
Featuring the songs Seasons of Love, What You Own, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight and I Should Tell You, Rent has become a massive cult favourite in musical theatre circles.
The new production of Rent has choreography by Lee Proud and musical direction by Phil Cornwell, and the principal cast are Billy Cullum as Mark Cohen, Ross Hunter as Roger Davis, Ryan O’Gorman as Tom Collins, Javar La’trial Parker as Benjamin Coffin III, Layton Williams as Angel Schunard, Philippa Stefani as Mimi Marquez and Shanay Holmes as Joanne Jefferson.
The company is completed by Jenny O’Leary, Katie Bradley, Joshua Dever, Kevin Yates, Bobbie Little, Christina Modestou, Jordan Laviniere, Harrison Clark and Oliver Bingham.
Telling the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, Rent premiered as a workshop production in 1993 and received its official opening three years later and quickly transferred to Broadway.
Rent, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, Tuesday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £20.50-£29.50, 0131-529 6000