Clacton’s West Cliff Theatre saw the hard-hitting musical Rent brought to life, showing theatre knows no boundaries. 

As somewhat of a musical fan myself, I could barely wait to see the though-provoking production, by Jonathan Larson, on a local stage. 

And I was not disappointed by the performance at the West Cliff. 

Rent tells the story of a group of artist friends living in Manhattan’s East Village during the 1980s. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Musical - The West Cliff Theatre showed a stunning performance of the popular musical 'Rent'

Mark, played by Korben Symmonds, an aspiring filmmaker is struggling to find his place in the world, while is roommate Roger, played by Simon Hipkin, an HIV-positive musician, is trying to leave a mark with a final song. 

The two artists and their friend Tom Collins meet Mimi and Angel, who are trying to find true love while facing the harsh reality of life as HIV-positive young people. 

The excellent cast included Edward Wayland and James Clarke as Angel and Tom Collins, whose performances ticked all the boxes, bringing passion, emotion and wonderful voices to the stage. 

The duet between Joanne and Maureen, 'Take Me or Leave Me', was definitely one of the highlights, performed by Emily Foor and Phoebe Wiggett. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Both Emily and Phoebe earned rapturous applause for their strong voices, proving that not only the West End has massive talent. 

The fantastic stage set-up transported the West Cliff audience to New York and the supporting cast did an amazing job of adding to the unforgettable sound of the show. 

With Rent, the West Cliff Performers once again showed that theatre knows no boundaries and musicals are powerful tools to tell stories that matter to all of us. 

While telling such a moving story about life, love and loss, the cast managed to find the right balance to make the audience laugh, cry and sing along to a host of well-known songs.

Rent lines up perfectly with past productions, including ‘Footloose’ and ‘Grease’ - I cannot wait for its next production. 

The theatre in Tower Road staged the musical between February 22 and February 24.