★★★★ | tick, tick…BOOM, Penge

Jonathan Larson, the genius behind Rent – perhaps one of the greatest musicals of all time – created a show about his struggle with getting a show produced before Rent – the show is ‘tick tick…BOOM’ – and it is now playing at the Bridge House Theatre in SE20 – Penge.

Larson, who died sadly and unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm in January, 1996 – a few weeks before Rent‘s world premiere – at the age of 35 – was very talented, and as the Writer, Composer and Lyricist of tick tick…BOOM his extreme talent was just starting to bloom when he died.

But tick, tick…BOOM is actually what turns out to be a celebration of his life – telling the story of Jon (a very good Alex Lodge) getting ready to turn 30 and still waiting tables for a living but soon to workshop a show he has written called Superbia.

He’s besotted with his girlfriend Susan (a good Georgie Ashford) and is not very jealous of his rich gay best friend Michael (James Hume), who seems to have it all but in all actuality does not. So tick, tick…BOOM takes us through the trials and tribulations of Jon’s struggle with the upcoming workshop, and his relationships with his girlfriend and best friend.

Songs in this show, including ‘Therapy’ and the opening number ’30/90′ pre-tell the songwriting style of Larson and what was to come in the masterpiece that was Rent. If you, like me, are a fan of Rent and have never seen tick, tick….BOOM, it’s worth the journey to Penge to see this show (the theatre is conveniently located next to Penge East overground train station).

If you’ve never seen Rent, then this show is also worth a watch as the story is relevant to pretty much all of us as we struggled to become successful in our first jobs. And the cast is all wonderful, and Lodge is just about perfect as Jon, with a glimmer of a sparkle in his eye that tells us the real Jon knew he had a gift.

The show was first performed Off-Off-Broadway in September 1990 by Jonathan Larson in a workshop at the Second Stage Theatre under the title ‘Boho Days.’ It originally premiered in London with Neil Patrick Harris as Jon at the Menier Chocolate Factory and ran for three months.

This production ends on October 27th, so book now.

A note from the editor.

These are tough times for us all. Without a doubt. But we're here for you and want to continue being here for you for the foreseeable future. THEGAYUK.com needs your help to survive. Due to the nature of the articles that we publish, we find it very hard to monetize our site and have been heavily restricted by ad platforms. This leaves us two ways of making money to keep this site going. 1) We run an online shop which we encourage you to visit and if you can make a purchase and 2) We run popup shops at the prides we media partner with. As you'll no doubt be aware the majority of pride events have been cancelled or postponed for 2020, which leaves our site at risk of closure.

Around 70 per cent of our funding comes from these popup shops. So we have a severe funding shortfall for 2020.

If just 100 people who use this site each donated £2 per month we'd be able to pay for the hosting for the rest of the year - meaning we can continue to keep THEGAYUK online. Please, if you can, consider donating £2 or whatever you can to keep us going.

Thank you.