EDINBURGH University Footlights bring one of the most popular musicals of recent times to the Church Hill Theatre next week, when they present their production of Jonathan Larson’s multi-award winning Rent.
Chronicling one year in the life of a group of young Bohemian friends in New York’s Alphabet City, Rent follows their fight for personal and artistic freedom from commercialism under the ever present shadow of HIV / AIDS.
Based on Puccini’s La Boheme, Rent has been called a raw milestone in musical theatre, edgy, provocative and brimming with rebellion.
Struggling filmmaker Mark Cohen documents his time as America struggles to quell an AIDS and homelessness pandemic. In a time rife with social injustice, his is a fight for the individual.
Along the way, Rent introduces audiences to Roger and Mimi, a couple with an obsessive addiction for each other; Maureen and Joanne, who endure a cycle of passionate, blazing rows, break-ups and reunions, and Angel and Collins, both totally dependant on each other.
Director Elske Waite says, “This rock-musical brought into the public eye subjects that could never be spoken of, let alone sung about.
“Homosexuality, transvestites, drug addiction, AIDS, prostitution, poverty, and the fight to live the bohemian life without selling out.”
Producer Lauren McLay, adds, “The longevity and continued love of Rent is not because of the catchy 80’s rock, or the famous La Vie Boheme table dance.
“Rent continues to capture the imagination because it challenges your ability to stand up and raise your voice for what you truly believe in.”
Founded by West End and Broadway producer Colin Ingram in 1989, Footlights’ production of Rent follows on from the hugely successful Scottish Premier of In the Heights.
Rent, Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road, Tuesday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinee 2.30pm), £12.50, on the door or from www.edfootlights.com