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RENT | Paradise in Augustines (Ed Fringe)

First and foremost, I’d love to obsess over the group harmonies. Brilliantly blended and certainly blasted some power, the ensemble numbers packed a punch! Naturally, this meant the classic, ‘Seasons of Love’ was my favourite song. Though noteworthy is ‘Rent’ as not only in musical awe, I appreciated the background acting to establish the atmosphere of the era the show is set in.

There was good choreography displayed in Angel’s (Rory McKeown) solo ‘Today 4 U’ and in the closing of act one with La Vie Boheme. However, to improve the overall quality of the production, it would have been great for this choreography to be executed more cleanly and with more strength. Also, more intricate levels of movement direction throughout the entire production could have been appreciated.

Genuine and sincere emotional responses from an extraordinary cast pulled at my heart strings, particularly in the second act. I had bought into the chemistry of all the couples so there was lots of tension when discovering the fate of them. This was heightened by the real tears the cast had too. The cast were well matched to their roles and I commend the true commitment to them and the respect they shown for the story that they were telling. Collins’ (Andrew Gardiner) vulnerability specifically stood out to me. Other highlight moments include the community feel in ‘Will I?’, Maureen’s (Nicola Alexander) bold dramatisation of ‘Over the Moon’, and the charisma that Mark (Ethan Baird) expressed throughout.

Just a side note, I'm unsure if the mics were not strong enough, or if the performers undermined the power of them, but there were a few sound issues. A shame because the vocals were beautiful, but I couldn’t quite always understand the words themselves. This was also slightly hindered by the balance of volume with the (incredible and confident) band.

In summary, the talents of this remarkable cast took me on an emotional rollercoaster, but most importantly gave me the perfect introduction to the special show that is ‘RENT’.


{AD | Gifted} Written by Carly (@stageychaos)


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