Anthony Rapp's emotional one-man show “Without You” has opened a three week London run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, with production co-designed by Timothy Bird and Ellan Parry from Knifedge.
Anthony Rapp is best known for his lead role in the Broadway rock opera, Rent, which won three Tony Awards in the 1990s. The musical was visited by tragedy when the show's writer, Jonathan Larson, died the day before the off-Broadway opening night.
Part play, part gig , and written and performed by Rapp himself, “Without You” is an intensely personal story of grief, hope and triumph, recounting how the actor's life was changed by the deaths of both Larson and his own mother, just as Rent found worldwide fame.
Alongside powerful monologues and readings from his best-selling book, Rapp is supported on stage by a five-piece band, with whom he performs his own compositions along with REM songs and original Larson music from Rent.
Ellan Parry, Designer at Knifedge, comments:
“Without You is one man's very personal and touching story, so we've kept our production design deliberately simple and intimate, balancing a subtle lighting design from Tim Mascall. Rent was a genuinely ground-breaking musical in its time, which played its part in changing the cultural landscape and affecting people's attitude to AIDS. This show is also culturally important, dealing very honestly and bravely with death in a way rarely seen in the West.”
Without You is the latest in a number of productions on which Knifedge has collaborated with the Menier Chocolate Factory, including Pippin and Sunday in the Park with George.