The King’s Head Theatre and Making Productions have today announced the full casting for their new contemporary queer reinvention of Puccini’s classic opera La Bohème.
Mark Ravenhill, Co-Artistic Director of The King’s Head Theatre, will direct the new production, opening at the world-renowned Islington pub theatre’s stage from 26 April and playing until 28 May, with a press night on Tuesday 3 May.
With Puccini’s score and a new English libretto originally conceived by David Eaton and Adam Spreadbury-Maher and reworked by Philip Lee and David Eaton, with Musical Direction from David Eaton, this classic tale of love and loss amongst a community of struggling artists returns to the King’s Head Theatre in a new version which relocates the story to contemporary London.
The full cast for La Bohème are: Matthew Kellett as Marcus, Philip Lee as Mimi, Grace Nyandoro as Marissa and Daniel Koek as Robin.
Penniless writer Robin struggles to monetise his online writing but a Grindr hookup with a Liberty perfume salesman- known to his friends as Mimi -leads to unexpected blossoming of romantic passion. Meanwhile Robin’s flatmate, Marcus pursues an on/off relationship with sometime model Marissa who is torn between the idealism of loving an artist and the material possibilities offered by a hedge fund manager. As a year passes from one Christmas to the next, the four friends struggle to reconcile love with artistic aspiration and the need to pay the bills.
Puccini’s story has been constantly reinvented since its premiere in 1896 most notably with the Broadway musical Rent. A previous production for Opera Up Close enjoyed a successful run at the King’s Head Theatre, and received an Olivier award. Subsequently in 2018 another incarnation of La Boheme from the King’s Head Theatre West End season was nominated for Best New Opera at the Oliviers.