Full cast for return of Rent to Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre

Last Updated on 13 July 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

Luke Bayer is among cast announced for the returning production of the musical Rent at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester

Rent Hope Mill Theatre
Michael Ahomka-Lindsay, Jocasta Almgill, Luke Bayer, Tom Francis, Dom Hartley-Harris, Millie O’Connell, Maiya Quansah-Breed and Alex Thomas-Smith. Photos: Dujonna Gift-Simms

Casting has been announced for the return of the live production of classic rock musical Rent at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre.

Mark will be played by Luke Bayer, whose previously roles include Jamie in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in the West End and Robbie in Soho Cinders at Charing Cross Theatre.

Michael Ahomka-Lindsay is making his professional debut as Benny after graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he received the Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship.

Also joining the company are Iona Fraser, Alison Driver, Joe Foster and Karl Lankester.

They join cast members who are returning after performing in the production at Hope Mill Theatre last year. After the theatre and the show were shut down by the pandemic, Rent was filmed and streamed online from 27 November to 20 December.

The other cast members are Tom Francis as Roger, Jocasta Almgill as Joanne, Dom Hartley-Harris as Collins, Millie O’Connell as Maureen, Maiya Quansah-Breed as MImi, Alex Thomas-Smith as Angel, and Isaac Hesketh.

The show, directed by Luke Sheppard, will run at Hope Mill from 6 August to 19 September 2021, with opening night on 8 August.

Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics and book by Jonathan Larson, loosely based on Puccini’s opera, La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists including Mark, Roger and Mimi who are living, loving and working in Manhattan’s East Village at the time of HIV/Aids.

Hope Mill’s executive director, William Whelton, said: “It was so heart-breaking to have to close our 2020 production of Rent after only five shows, due to entering another lockdown. We were so thrilled that we managed to capture the show and share it with audiences online.

“The reaction to the show both critically and with audiences alike was truly overwhelming. However, we built this show to be experienced live and there is still a lot of unfinished business with this special show.

“It is with much excitement that we are bringing back Rent to Hope Mill Theatre for another run, and once again share this truly electric, heart-warming and unique version in person with our audiences.”

The creative team also includes choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves, musical supervisor Katy Richardson, set and costume designer David Woodhead, lighting designer Howard Hudson, sound designer Paul Gatehouse, projection designer George Reeve, musical director Chris Poon and assistant director Priya Patel Appleby with casting by Pearson Casting.

Meet the cast in this new video.


About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.