News location:

Canberra Today 8°/10° | Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Review: One for the top of the tree

SETTING “Rent” in the tight confines of the Courtyard Studio allowed opportunity for the audience to connect closely with the variety of well-played characters, but it also created some problems.

This musical is complex and difficult to grasp, but understanding the story was hindered by poor balance between band and cast with the words of many of the poignant songs indistinguishable.

That was such a pity as this strong, evenly matched cast was enthusiastic, committed, totally focused and absolutely believable in every one of the emotionally charged roles.

Adrian Flor was superb as drag queen Angel, Vanessa de Jager haunting as Mimi and Julia Jenkins outstanding as Maureen. Nick Valois as the musician Roger was suitably forlorn and dejected, Jarrad West powerful as Tom Collins and Louiza Blomfield commanding in her every scene.

Musical director Nick Griffin maintained a tight tempo rein on his good six-piece band. The overpowering guitars, the major contributors to the balance problems, were likely to have erred in control at the mixing desk rather than in the on stage pit. Lighting was tight and atmospheric and Jordan Kelly’s contrasting choreography wildly exuberant then calming and reflective.

This was by far the most compelling, convincing and “real” production of “Rent” I’ve seen. For outstanding attention to character detail director Jarrad West and his fine team of quality actors/singers deserve accolades aplenty. Once the balance issues are resolved this production will rightly sit up there near the top of the rich tree of 2012 Canberra musical theatre productions.

Who can be trusted?

In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.

If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep strong and free.

Become a supporter

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Share this

One Response to Review: One for the top of the tree

Leave a Reply

Related Posts


The power of dancing from the ground up

"The idea of moving on solid ground is a contended concept in the world of dance and the title of the coming Quantum Leap triple-bill, 'Terra Firma', puts the question on show," writes HELEN MUSA. 

Follow us on Instagram @canberracitynews