Review – ‘RENT’ – NAOS

I was delighted to hear, at very short notice I must admit, about a performance of the popular show ‘Rent’ at the Robin Hood Theatre, Avenham, Newark.

The show was being performed between 12th and 15th October by the Newark Amateur Operatic Society (NAOS) of which a few of my old ‘Superstar’ friends were part of.  Despite never having seen the show, or heard much about it, I wanted to support local theatre and I really wasn’t disappointed.

The show is loosely based on a favourite opera of mine by Puccini, ‘La Boheme’; where a group of friends, with typical lack of funds, struggle to survive in New York in 1991. The show is based over a year, and the musical follows all the obstacles that befall the group including illness, poverty and the AIDS epidemic.


Between a couple of love stories with very different endings running throughout the show, you see an overriding message that life really is what you make it.

The performance on 13th October wasn’t what I expected (but I’m not sure what I actually was expecting!).  Although a very small theatre, the cast made the most of every inch of space, with the ingenious set designed to be both indoors or outdoors depending on the scene.  I didn’t have chance to think, or take stock during the performance due to the fast paced action…  The cast didn’t stop for a single moment, on and off stage, singing and moving, the whole show was non-stop from start to finish.

Despite the fast pace, the musicality and vocal performances were exceptional; as well as being extremely funny, there were some very emotional scenes which definitely made everyone in the audience believe the cast and what they were going through… I needed tissues!

Some reviews from friends who also attended the show:

“Wow! NAOS production of Rent was fantastic! I laughed and cried all the way through! Brilliant cast! Well done Jim Burrows, Andy Raine and Mike Follen!”

“Had a fab time in the most beautiful little theatre watching Jim Burrows performing in RENT.   

Pass on my appreciation to your fellow cast members.

A great night”

“Really super job Jim, congrats to the whole cast x”

“Wow, RENT was fantastic, very emotional, well done to all cast and crew. And what a great theatre, we’ll be back for sure.”

“Such a fabulous show !! I’m so very pleased we came to see it …. you were all fabulous xxx”

“Fab fab production… Brilliant cast…well done all…👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻”

“Rent was absolutely amazing! Well done to all the cast and crew! Loved it!🙌🏼”

“Fantastic show, bursting with very talented people!”

“Will you stop making me weep!! Well done me lad, you were just fabulous.xx”

“Stunning performance well done to everyone throughly enjoyed it. Was blown away with the talent on stage I should have got you to sign my programme I’ll get the hang of this groupie thing lol”


Thank you to NAOS for this lovely compilation of photo’s from the show – absolutely stunning!

NOAS – Newark Amateur Operatic Society is pleased to announce that next year they will be performing – OLIVER – from March 28 to April 1 2017 – Look out for early bird offer flyers with tickets available from the Newark Palace Theatre from the end of January 2017


The Robin Hood Theatre is situated in a very small village about 10 minutes from the Newark junction off the A1 in Nottinghamshire.  There is plenty of free parking, (despite some of it being in a field), and lovely, homely facilities, including a bar selling a variety of spirits, beers and wines and a raffle (which I happen to win a bottle of wine!)

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