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Behind the Curtain: An Interview with ‘Rent’ star Luke Friend

In this Behind the Curtain interview I to speak to Rent star, Luke Friend to find out more about the show!

Landmark Theatres debut production of Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent.

Rent opens at Peterborough New Theatre on 20 June before visiting the Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple from 03 July.


For people who may not know what ‘RENT’ is about, could you tell them what it is about? And what made you say YES to this show?

RENT for me emphasises a movement against an out of date social construct. The fight for opening yourself up and vulnerably expressing the nature of the kind of human you are and want to be. The struggles with disease, drug abuse and love being the thread throughout the show. Rent is a show with a message that still needs voicing today. Big YES.

With ‘Rent’ being so popular and having so much success, how do you feel about doing this show and what would you say that this production of the show has in store?

I am absolutely over the moon. A dream show to do for sure. I think this production in is essence will definitely highlight raw, honest theatre.

What is the message of the show and how do you think the theme reflects on today’s society?

The message for me is fighting against a failing social construct, following a group of unique individuals that struggle against Disease, Drug abuse and the epic failures and triumphs of love.

You play ‘Roger’ how would you describe your character? How do you approach the character to make them your own?

He’s incredibly Insular, intense and erratic in moments. Exploring Roger’s inner pain has been really fulfilling. The unsaid monologue in his head is so important to get across. That’s his ultimate headache, that’s what he has to live with everyday, don’t we all?

Your background is a singer/songwriter. How did you get into musical theatre?

I’ve always had a solid passion for the arts. Ever since I was a kid I was doing theatre projects. Been doing it all my life. I’m so lucky to call this a job. I’d say my big break into professional theatre though was ‘American Idiot’ it’s been a wonderful 5 years since then.

What would you say is your biggest drive when performing? And what is one piece of advice you would give aspiring performers?

My biggest drive is the sacrifice and vulnerability of bringing a character to life. Living with a character and finding the little quirks and intricacies is such a thrill. Advice, KEEP making mistakes. Without them you won’t get to the magic.

Rent is a sung-through musical, what would you say has been the easiest and most difficult thing about learning the music of the show?

I’d say any kind of overlaps when the whole cast is being used, timing dialogue to its correct bar phrase. It’s wild at times!

What are you excited and nervous about starting rehearsals? And how do you think the experience will change once you have an audience?

Doing justice to the role of Roger, I am truly aware of the shoes I’m filling. I mean, once audiences are involved, that’s the fun part! Can’t wait.

Do you have a favourite song or moment in the show?

Tough question, J. Larson is one of my favourites. A genius in my eyes and gone way too soon. ‘What you own’ for its Rock pop nature and ‘Goodbye love’ for its insane lyrical quality.

Describe the show in one sentence or three words.

Real and Raw to its core.


Rent opens at Peterborough New Theatre on the 20th June before moving onto Queen's Theatre Barnstaple from 3rd July.

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