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2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the hit Broadway musical, Rent. Under the direction of Byron Bure, the Stephan Fourie Production Company is bringing this musical back to life.
The critically acclaimed rock musical tells the story of struggling artists in New York City and will be coming to the Joburg Theatre from 28 April to 7 May. The cast just finished a 10-day stint at Artscape Arena in Cape Town.
Perdeby caught up with University of Pretoria Alumna, Bonolo Makhele, who is currently part of the chorus in the cast of Rent. She completed her degree in Drama at UP and received her Honours in Applied Theatre and Education at the University of Cape Town.
Can you tell readers what they can expect from this rendition of Rent, one of the most famous musicals in the world?
This rendition is nothing short of vibrant and diverse. It will have you laughing and shedding a few tears. The cast itself is very powerful and brings a fresh take on this 20-year-old production.
Rent deals with very sensitive issues surrounding “outcasts”. Why is it important for South Africans to see this musical?
Rent is relevant in South Africa because it deals with themes like HIV and AIDS, relationships and homosexuality. South Africans need to see this because as much as we try to hide from these things, they are still so present in our communities.
You have completed your time at Artscape Arena in Cape Town. What has the response been?
We have felt so much love from each and every audience. Cape Town is a theatre-loving city, so it was a pleasant surprise when we got standing ovations, because the pressure was on to give them an overall quality performance.
This rendition of Rent features old favourites from the original musical such as “Seasons of love”. Which song is your personal favourite to perform?
The song “No day but today” is so profound. The [lyrics], “I can’t control my destiny, I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be” are so raw and so beautiful. I love performing that song. “La vie bohème” is [also] crazy fun to perform.
What is the most memorable moment for you from this entire experience?
I would have to say finally performing for an audience in the Artscape Arena. All our hard work was finally showcased, the lights hit us and sparked a new energy. There is no better feeling than that.