Full casting has been announced for the 20th anniversary U.K. concert tour of Rent, which will launch on April 25 in Manchester, England. Broadway.com Audience Award winner Kerry Ellis will play Mimi, and will be joined by Rory Taylor (Roger), Nikki Davis-Jones (Maureen), Paul Ayres (Mark), Leon Lopez (Collins), Ian Stroughair (Angel), Jemma Alexander (Joanne) and Kenny Thompson (Benny).
Loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Boheme, Rent tells the story of a group of impoverished friends struggling to survive and create in New York’s gritty Alphabet City in 1991. Over the course of one year, Rent follows these starving artists as they strive for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness, impending gentrification and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Ellis appeared as Elphaba in Wicked on both Broadway and the West End. She also starred in the West End's We Will Rock You, a musical composed entirely of music from the band Queen. Recently she toured with Queen member Brian May.
Rent in Concert will make stops in Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Cardiff, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Glasgow, Leeds and Southend.