Review: Kinetic Theatre Arts Presents Rent!

 Last night we were
invited to see Kinetic Theatre Arts perform the wonderful musical Rent at The Atrium in Cardiff. I’ve never been to this venue before, but it was a nice
introduction to Warren’s new world because he starts his Sound
Engineering course there this year and this will be his main base for
study- how exciting!


The theatre can
accommodate a fair amount of people, but I think when there’s
unreserved seating people need to be a bit more sensible with how
they file in. Leaving seats between yourself and a stranger is just a
little immature in my opinion, and it made it very awkward for those
last in through the door who couldn’t sit with their companions.

Before I go into any
detail about the show, I just want to say that Warren and I both
agree this is the best performance we’ve ever seen from Kinetic
Theatre Arts. It felt extremely well rehearsed, choreographed and
executed. The casting as a whole was pretty spot on, and the costumes
were in-keeping with Rent.

You might
already know that I adore Rent. It’s one of those musical
performances I can relate to on so many levels, and I think the music
and composition is phenomenal. It evokes such emotion, pain and
reminds me how damn lucky I am to have a group of friends I
completely adore.
As we walked in I
immediately noticed the set, industrial and grunge in style, it
reminded me of my youth. The posters and use of props were perfect
and simplistic (but in a good way!) and I loved the Christmas lights
and use of lighting throughout the show to highlight various scenes
and characters.
The music from Rent
is simply divine, and it’s a joy to see different variations of the
show. The band were on stage and they offered a punchy performance; I
always love it when you can see the musicians because they work
tirelessly to keep the performance moving forward.

The performance
began and it was powerful, well delivered and harmonious. You could
tell each member of the cast was enjoying every moment and that makes
the audience enjoy it even more! 
Mark (Jack Green)
opens the show as a narrator of the lives of a group of friends who
can’t afford to pay their rent. From this a series of events occur
between the group of friends, from drug abuse to pure poverty plus
the focus on AIDs, this story is deeply dark and it’s main focus is
on the importance of friendship and love. Green opened the show with
lots of energy and his performance kept the story ticking along
nicely.
The casting was
good, but I have to say that Roger played by James Evans stood out a
mile to me last night. Warren and I both agreed his acting, accent
and vocals were spot on. He totally shone as Roger, and I felt his
pain, anger and sadness throughout, as well as his total adoration of
Mimi. I felt that when he was on stage I was drawn into the show
completely; I felt his performance really meant something, especially
with the repetitive I Should Tell You – simply beautiful. 
I grew to like Mimi (Caz Walsh) more during the second half the show, and I think
her performance of Without You alongside Evans Was really
heart-wrenching. Much like Jack Davies who played Collins I much
prefer Cassie’s performances of softer, slower songs compared to the
powerful ones. Both performers looked determined to perform with
passion and determination and this made their characters more
complete.
We both thought
Joanne (Jade Wellbeloved) and Maureen (Grace Morrison) were powerful
forces upon the stage, with fantastic voices and incredible stage presence.
I particularly loved their duet, or as Warren described it, ‘Sing
Off’ with the song Take Me Or Leave Me. It was powerful and well
timed, and their harmonies were spot on.
I thought the chorus
were strong, humorous and they worked hard as team to create backing
vocals as well as setting scenes behind the main characters. In
particular the song Seasons of Love stood out for me and for Warren
it has to be Will I?; we both adored how well timed the
overlapping of lyrics worked and the beautiful harmonies.
As ever, the story
of Angel is a heartbreaking one. Angel and Collins offer a love at
first sight story, with so much positivity and focus upon true
friendships and love. I thought Thomas Price was perfectly cast as
Angel, moving around the stage in heels with such elegance, Price had
a LOT of stage presence. Unfortunately I think there may have been an
issue with the microphone as we couldn’t hear a lot of Angel’s
dialogue or singing, which was such a shame. Regardless of this,
Angel still stood out and performed with such ease and grace, it was hard to take your eyes off her.
I really enjoyed
this performance and I feel so proud to have been invited along to
see Kinetic Theatre Arts shine. You guys rocked and thank you for having us!

Disclosure: I
received tickets in exchange for review. All opinions are 100% honest
and my own.

Photo credit: Pete Rankin. 

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