Broadway musical takes to East Durham stage

In Your Face Theatre will be performing Rent.
In Your Face Theatre will be performing Rent.
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The bustling streets of New York City’s East Village is coming to East Durham for a rousing rendition of Rent.

To coincide with the Broadway musical’s 20th anniversary, it will be performed by In Your Face Theatre for a run of shows at Seaham Town Hall.

A group of 20 performers from the community theatre group will breathe new life into the musical next month.

David Jackson, chairman of In Your Face Theatre, said: “It’s a really powerful, poignant show, even more so because its writer, Jonathan Larson, died on its opening night 20 years ago. So he never got to see the show.”

The rock opera, based on opera La Boheme, follows 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.

It’s the third musical to be staged by In Your Face Theatre who have also brought Bad Girls and ‘Allo ‘Allo the play to Seaham.

David said: “We have a very diverse bunch of people in our group and Rent features characters who are in the LGBT community and explores issues, so it’s a show that appealed to us.

“Also the music is great, it’s really poignant and emotional and almost gospel. One of the characters is a drag queen and when he dies there’s not a dry eye in the house. It’s a real rollercoaster of a show.

“Even thought it was made 20 years ago it’s still fairly new and is not as well-known as a show like Grease so we wanted to bring it to a new audience in Seaham.

“We want to perform different community theatre rather than traditional shows such as Guys and Dolls.”

l Rent will be performed at Seaham Town Hall from Tuesday, September 6 to Thursday, September 8 with performances started at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 from www.ticketsource.co.uk/inyourfacetheatrenortheast or by calling the box office on 07402344925. For more information visit the Facebook page on www.facebook.com/iyftnortheast