Friday 22 October 2010

Rent - South Manchester AOS @ RNCM

We enter the studio theatre.  Chairs are arranged for the audience.  Scattered across them?  Durex condoms.  This is either my lucky night, or I'm in danger of catching something....

Do you know what...I'm going to be nice.  For an amateur society, with an average age of (I'm guessing) 30ish, the standard was impressive.  I'm going to do this through the medium of the compliment sandwich:

* Aforementioned condoms.
* Angel.  Very well cast and able to do both comic sass and pathos brilliantly.  In fact, the whole gay relationship between him and Collins was sensitively portrayed.
* Maurine looked hot in a catsuit.  And had a good voice.  As did Joanne.
* The use of the screen, although the material by the cast was copied from the film, was great.
* The random chorus cameos.  Especially the random tramp who shouted "You fuck!" at Roger.  Hilarious.

* The direction.  End of.

Best (my two favourite moments):
* Start of Act 2.  The intro begins for the big song...
Random chorus member: "Fiv.........."
Rest of the cast, four bars later: "Five hundred twenty-five thousand......."

* Mimi dies.  The room is silent....except a random muso who loudly whispers "Shit!" from behind the curtain, for some unknown reason.

In all honesty, I really thought the cast were fantastic and there was some genuine talent in the leads.  I just feel so sorry for them that, after all their effort, they were completely let down by the completely amateurish Director (rule no.1: don't turn your back on the audience), Musical Director ( copy the soundtrack) and Choreographer (step together, step togetheer, PUNCH THE AIR).  There was nothing visually interesting, nothing exciting or unique.  The cast deserved to be treated like adults, then maybe I wouldn't have been laughing for all the wrong reasons.

At the least, it reminded me what an excellent musical this is.  Now I'm off to watch the film for the millionth time...