RENT star Lucie Jones has come out on top in the battle to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The Welsh singer, currently winning rave reviews for her performance in the 2oth anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s innovative musical, won over the judges and the voting public with her performance of the ballad ‘Never Give Up On You’ in the live show at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo yesterday (Friday).
Presented by Mel Giedroyc and broadcast live on BBC2, Eurovision: You Decide featured a panel of experts consisting of Strictly Come Dancing’s Bruno Tonioli, pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor and vocal coach CeCe Sammy.
Before the show Jones had described the ballad written by The Treatment, former Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest and Lawrie Martin, as “an incredibly powerful song, especially when sung live”.
Jones, who first found fame as a contestant on The X Factor before moving in to musical theatre beat five other singers who have also previously appeared on the ITV talent show. She will now represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision in May in Kiev in the Ukraine.
After the show Jones tweeted: “Completely overwhelmed and so surprised. Tonight has been one of the best nights of my life. Thank you so much.”
Jones is back on stage tonight (28 January) in the final performance of the record-breaking Christmas season of RENT at London’s St James Theatre.
Presented by Robert Mackintosh and Idili Theatricals in association with Theatr Clywd and Wales Millennium Centre, the new production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning show is choreographed by Lee Proud with set design by Anna Fleischle and costume design by Loren Elstein. Lighting design is by Rick Fisher with sound design by Mike Walker, video design by Andrzej Goulding, musical direction by Phil Cornwell and casting is by Will Burton Casting.
The production is due to hit the road again from 31 January until 27 May. The 2017 leg of the tour will begin in Eastbourne at the Devonshire Park Theatre (31 January-4 February) followed by Bromley’s Churchill Theatre (6-11 February); Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre (14-18 February); Liverpool Empire Theatre (28 February-4 March); Woking’s New Victoria Theatre (7-11 March); Leicester’s Curve (28 March-1 April); Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (3-8 April); Cheltenham Everyman Theatre (11-15 April); York Theatre Royal (18-22 April); Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre For The Arts (1-6 May); Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre (9-13 May); Nottingham Playhouse (16-20 May) and the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells (23-27 May).
Inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, Larson’s critically acclaimed work won four Tony awards, six Drama Desk awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996.
RENT has book, music and lyrics by Larson, musical arrangements by Steve Skinner, original concept and additional lyrics by Billy Aronson, music supervision and additional arrangements by Tim Weil, and dramaturg is Lynn Thomson.
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Rent – St James Theatre, London – Review