Rachel John to Step in for Kerry Ellis During November RENT 20th Anniversary UK Concert Dates
It was announced today that West End's Kerry Ellis will not perform in November during the upcoming 20th anniversary concert tour of the smash rock opera RENT, due to maternity leave. Rachel John will perform the iconic role of 'Mimi,' prior to Ellis' return in January.
The full cast includes Rachel John (Mimi), Paul Ayres (Mark), Hannah Levene (Joanne), Ian Stroughair (Angel), Leon Lopez (Collins), Kenny Thompson (Benny). The ensemble features Tim Prottey Jones, Joel Harper-Jackson, David Hinton-Gale, Beth Humphries, and Katie Bernstein.
Rent - 20th Anniversary Concert will be playing 16 national dates this Autumn including Blackpool, Nottingham, Oxford, Edinburgh, Dublin and Newcastle before closing in Liverpool on 30th November.
Celebrating 20 years since its first staged performance, West End leading lady and Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton will appear as sexy lesbian Maureen in this iconic concert of the smash-hit musical Rent, whilst the runner-up of ITV's 'Superstar', Rory Taylor reprises his role as Roger.
Commenting on the show Natasha Hamilton, who will be playing the role of sexy lesbian performance artist Maureen; made famous by Idina Menzel, Nicole Sherzinger and Denise Van Outen said: "I love Rent so I am made up to be playing the role of Maureen! She's a great character...a little bit cheeky, flirtatious and injects some real comedy moments into the show."
Whilst Rory Taylor said: "I had the most amazing time on tour with Rent - 20th Anniversary Concert in April and I am so excited that the public want more! I can't wait to get back on the road and play the role of Roger again."
Natasha Hamilton is known for being one third of the UK's most internationally successful girl group of the last ten years with more than 10 million worldwide record sales. These days she's also known as a TV personality, mother and businesswoman. Now she can add actress to the impressive list since landing the lead role of Mrs Johnstone in the highly acclaimed West End show Blood Brothers.
Natasha recently embarked on the momentous ITV2 show 'The Big Reunion'. The show saw the Musical Theatre star return to her pop roots as she rejoined the other Atomic Kittens in the much anticipated reunion early in 2013. A sell-out arena tour followed.
Rory has been a professional singer since the age of 14 and has recently shot to fame after appearing in 'Superstar' on ITV. Rory was runner up in Andrew Lloyd Webber's TV search for an actor, to play the role of Jesus in an arena tour of his hit musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. Rory is lead singer in a band called 54321. He sings with his cousin and three brothers and the band are resident in The Cavern Club, Liverpool. With the band, Rory has supported Mel C, Westlife and McFly on major arena tours. The band have also performed at a number of international festivals, where they have supported The Beach Boys. Rory has released two albums, 'What We Did With Our Days' and 'Motion Picture Scenery'.
Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this musical has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages. Based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, the show follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
Previous cast members include Mel B, Denise Van Outen, Jesse Wallace, Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal. Rent last toured the UK in 2001 and was last in the West-End in 2007. A film of the musical was released in 2005 starring original Broadway cast members Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal.