Review: Rent ****


Musicals & Opera (theatre)

Guilded Balloon, Rose St

17.15 until 26th August

(****) 4 star

Rent is a world-famous and much-loved Broadway Musical, and although I’m a massive musical theatre fan, it’s one I hadn’t yet seen, so what a better way than to first experience the musical than by the well reputed Captivate Theatre.

The rock opera tells the story of a group of Bohemians struggling in the East Village of New York and dealing with their lives and loves while also living under the shadow of AIDS.

On arriving at the small intimate theatre, I noticed all the seating was flat but hoped it would not impair my view of the performance as I was quite far back. Unfortunately, my initial concerns were correct and I really couldn’t see much of what was happening on the stage unless a cast member was on the step ladder prop. The small venue had been taken into consideration throughout the performance and the cast would often be on each side of the aisles which compensated for the lack of visibility on the stage and sounded vocally amazing when they were all involved in one of the many ballads.

This version of Rent is certainly a no-frills amateur production with minimal props, but with the moving story line, energy and talent of the cast who you can only be filled with admiration for you can’t really go wrong as it’s them who give this version of Rent, the WOW factor.

Outstanding vocals, emotional and funny, Rent by the Captivate Theatre is well spent time at the Edinburgh Fringe, just make sure you get front row seats.

Susan Clark