For days beforehand I was buzzing in anticipation, desperately trying to get everyone I knew to come and experience one of the greatest musicals ever. It was my gift to them.
In the end, only Greg and Sinead came (You guys are my favourites anyway!).
It was a little strange being back in The Helix after a year of separation. I’ve become quite attached to that theatre after my own time spent in DCU Drama, and became well acquainted with the building while doing Iago in 2007, and Romeo and Juliet and The Vagina Monologues in 2008 …all good times.
Anyway, after some idle coffee drinking in the foyer, we were ushered into The Theatre and led to the very front row (it’s even closer than the front row).
Straight away the set impressed me because it was easily Westend-worthy and much more than I’d expect from an amateur drama group.
Words are wasted in trying to describe just how good the performance was. I’d seen Rent on Broadway a few years ago, and honestly couldn’t chose which one I loved more. The costumes were near-perfect, the music was flawless, each actor was buzzing with raw energy and there was never a flat moment. Apart from some seriously unnecessary dancing (they were homeless, for God sake!!!) I couldn’t find fault with it.
Damien Kavanagh had every member of the audience fall in love with him as the charismatic Angel, while Niamh Maher broke hearts with some beautifully emotive vocals in the role of Mimi. Alan McHale was the Mark the show’s creater dreamed of, Fiona Carty’s Maureen teased a love/hate relationship from the audience and Stevi Russell won rounds of applause for some unbelievable high notes as Joanne.
I could name everyone in the show, even members of the chorus who still shone in the crowd, but sure, I’d be here all night!
Just take my word for it: Rent was, is and always will be AWESOME!