Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre’s production of Rent is to open as planned in October.
A brand new production will be directed by Luke Sheppard who previously helmed Hope Mill’s 2018 run of Spring Awakening.
Originally due to run Friday 31st July to Sunday 30th August 2020, performances have been shifted to 30 October to 6th December 2020 due to the ongoing theatre closures.
The venue has now confirmed the show is to go ahead as planned but with social distancing restrictions and other safety restrictions in place for audience members.
Hope Mill Theatre’s executive director William Whelton said: “The past few months have been a whirlwind of highs and lows for our venue. We have worked so hard to make Rent possible along with the support of the wider creative team, the cast and our own venue staff.
“We stated previously that we would not proceed with the production if we couldn’t do it in a safe and secure way for everyone involved including our audiences. After a lot of investment in equipment and working alongside a health and safety officer we are more than confident that we can deliver not only an incredible production but one that is covid-secure and enjoyable for everyone involved.
“We want nothing more than to have our doors open once more and welcome back our loyal and supportive audiences, as well as supporting the industry that we love so much at a time that they need us the most. After all we must Measure in Love.”
Director Luke Sheppard said previously when the show was first rescheduled: “When the time is right, we are more committed than ever before to bringing Rent to the Hope Mill Theatre. The strong themes of love and hope that drive the piece have never felt more vital.
“The production we have planned will be a celebration of what it means to experience live theatre, and I look forward daily to sitting in this amazing space on opening night.”
Joining Sheppard on the creative team will be choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves, musical director Katy Richardson, set and costume designer David Woodhead, lighting designer Howard Hudson and sound designer Paul Gatehouse with casting by Pearson Casting.
For more information and tickets, visit the official Hope Mill Theatre website here.
Loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème, rock musical Rent features music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson and tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists living, loving and working in Manhattan’s East Village, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
Since its first premie Off-Broadway in 1996, the show has enjoyed countless productions across the world including four separate West End runs.