Broadway extravaganza’s Opera House date

The Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
The Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
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West End leading lady and Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton is heading to Blackpool after the Winter Gardens announced yet another big musical.

Hot on the heels of landing big shows like Mamma Mia, Joseph and Blood Brothers, it has been revealed that Rent - 20th Anniversary Concert will be staged at the Opera House in November.

The show toured the UK in April, performing 10 dates to rave reviews – and due to the public demand returns for its final run, with Natasha taking on a starring role.

Rent – 20th Anniversary Concert will play 15 national dates in the autumn, stopping off in Nottingham, Oxford, Edinburgh, Dublin and Newcastle - and of course Blackpool - before closing in Liverpool.

Natasha, who has sold 10 million records as one-third of Atomic Kitten, will play the role of sexy lesbian performance artist Maureen, made famous by Idina Menzel, Nicole Sherzinger and Denise Van Outen.

She said: “I love Rent so I am made up to be playing the role of Maureen. She’s a great character…a little bit cheeky, flirtatious and injects some real comedy moments into the show.”

For the benefit of those not familiar with the show - which also stars Rory Taylor, runner-up in ITV’s Superstar - it is set in the East Village of New York City and follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the musical has become a pop cultural and includes songs Seasons of Love, Out Tonight, Without You, Will I and Finale B.

Rent last toured the UK in 2001 and was last in the West-End in 2007. A film of the musical was released in 2005, while the Broadway production closed in September 2008 after a 12-year run of 5,124 performances - the ninth-longest-running Broadway show of all time.

The show comes to the Opera House on Monday November 11 and tickets, priced £27.50-£35, go on sale today at www.blackpoollive.com or by calling the Winter Gardens box office on 0844 8561111.