Mykal Rand to Join Kerry Ellis & More in Third RENT 20th Anniversary Concert UK Tour

Mykal Rand to Join Kerry Ellis & More in Third RENT 20th Anniversary Concert UK Tour

The full cast for Rent - 20 Anniversary Concert has now been announced. Leading the cast is West End and Broadway star Kerry Ellis, who will be joined by Superstar runner up Rory Taylor. MykAl Rand will join the production, returning to the role of 'Collins', which he has played both in the West End and on tour.

The full cast list can be seen below:

Kerry Ellis (Mimi)
Rory Taylor (Roger)
Paul Ayres (Mark)
Lisa-Marie Holmes (Joanne)
Ian Stroughair (Angel)
MykAl Rand (Collins) Kenny Thompson (Benny) Ruthie Stephens (Maureen)

Ensemble:
Tim Prottey Jones Joel Harper-Jackson David Hinton-Gale Beth Humphries Kate England

The show last toured the UK in April and then November 2013, performing 16 dates to rave reviews - and due to overwhelming public demand the show is back for a third and final run.

Rent - 20th Anniversary Concert will be playing 15 national dates this Autumn including a three night run at the Hackney Empire. Other venues include The Maylower, Southampton, The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham and His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen.

Celebrating 20 years since its first staged performance, West End leading lady and Broadway star Kerry Ellis will return to the role of Mimi following the birth of her son in September.

Commenting on the show Kerry said: "I am so pleased to be returning to this fantastic production. It has been a busy year after touring with Brian May, performing my show at The London Palladium and most importantly becoming a mother. It is great that there is so much demand for this production and I look forward to getting back out there again as Mimi".

Whilst Rory Taylor said: "I had the most amazing time on tour with Rent - 20th Anniversary Concert in April and November 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."

Ellis has fast become recognized as the First Lady of West End musicals from her starring roles in London and on Broadway, and has achieved chart-topping success as a recording artist signed to Universal Decca with her debut album Anthems. Kerry originated the role of Meat, in Queen's We Will Rock You and was the first British Elphaba in the West End smash, Wicked, for which Kerry won the 2008 Whatsonstage.com Award for 'Best Takeover in a Role'. She then immediately transferred to Broadway and played Elphaba at the Gershwin Theater for 6 months, where she won the Broadway.com Audience Award for Favourite Female Breakthrough Performance, before returning to London for 6 months in 2009. Her many other leading role credits include Nancy in Oliver! at the London Palladium, Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady, Ellen in Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Miserables.

Kerry's first major CD release was the amazing Wicked in Rock, which is still flying high in the Dress Circle's bestseller list. Wicked in Rock was collaboration with long-time friend and Queen guitarist, Brian May. This led to her being signed to Universal as a solo? recording artist and her debut album Anthems was released in 2010 on Decca Records. The success of the album, which reached No.15 in the UK album chart, and No.10 in the UK pop club charts (for Defying Gravity), led to a major tour Anthems: The Concert throughout 2011, which kicked off at the Royal Albert Hall. Kerry headlined at this years 2012 'Night of a 1000 voices' and has been performing her one woman show On The Edge which has been a huge success. Also this year she has been filming the Les Miserables feature film and headlining various festivals across the country. At the end of 2012 Kerry starred in the Arena tour of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds alongside Jason Donavan and Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs.

In 2013, Kerry performed across the UK and Europe with Brian May in their 'Born Free' Tour. Kerry also toured the UK in 'Rent in Concert' playing the role of Mimi. Kerry also performed her own concert at The London Palladium.

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.

Rent includes songs Seasons of Love, Out Tonight, Without You, Will I and Finale B. 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.

The shows composer Jonathan Larson died unexpectedly the morning of Rent's first Off- Broadway preview. Larson died of an aortic dissection believed to have been caused by undiagnosed Marfan syndrome.

The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008 after a 12-year run of 5,124 performances, the ninth-longest-running Broadway show of all time. The production grossed over $280 million.

UK TOUR DATES 2014

THURSDAY 30TH JANUARY TO SATURDAY 1ST FEBRUARY LONDON
Hackney Empire www.hackneyempire.co.uk 02089 852424

SUNDAY 2ND FEBRUARY? SOUTHAMPTON
Mayflower Theatre? www.mayflower.org.uk? 02380 711811

MONDAY 3RD FEBRUARY? NORTHAMPTON
Royal and Derngate? www.royalandderngate.co.uk? 01604 624811

TUESDAY 4TH FEBRUARY? WYCOMBE
? Wycombe Swan? www.wycombeswan.co.uk 01494 512000

WEDNESDAY 5TH FEBRUARY ? LEICESTER?
Demontfort Hall? www.demontforthall.co.uk? 0116 233 3111

FRIDAY 7TH FEBRUARY? GUILFORD?
G-Live? www.glive.co.uk 0844 770 1797

SUNDAY 9TH FEBRUARY? CAMBRIDGE
Corn Exchange? www.cornex.co.uk 01223 357851

MONDAY 10TH FEBRUARY DARTFORD
? Orchard Theatre www.orchardtheatre.co.uk 01322 220000

TUESDAY 11TH FEBRUARY? SWANSEA
Grand Theatre? www.swanseagrand.co.uk? 01792 475715

WEDNESDAY 12TH FEBRUARY? YORK
Grand Opera House? www.atgtickets.com/york? 0844 871 3024

THURSDAY 13TH FEBRUARY? BOURNEMOUTH
? Pavillion Theatre? www.bic.co.uk 0844 576 3000

FRIDAY 14TH FEBRUARY BIRMINGHAM
New Alexandra Theatre? www.atgtickets.com/birmingham? 0844 871 3011

SATURDAY 15TH FEBRUARY? ABERDEEN
His Majesty's Theatre? www.boxofficeaberdeen.com 0845 270 8200

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