The BBC has announced today that Lucie Jones, currently starring in RENT at the St James’ Theatre, is one of the six artists chosen to perform the songs competing for the UK’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest.
Lucie is currently starring as Maureen Johnson in the new 20th Anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s ground-breaking Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical RENT. The show is currently playing a sold-out season at St. James Theatre, London until 28 January and will then embark on a major UK tour until 27 May 2017.
The former X Factor contestant will perform the song on Eurovision: You Decide, a show to be held at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo on 27 January 2017 and broadcast live on BBC Two, presented by Mel Giedroyc. The winner, who will be revealed on the night after a combined expert jury and live public vote, will then represent the UK at Eurovision, with the Grand Final on Saturday 13 May in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The ballad that Lucie is singing, Never Give Up On You, is the work of composers and lyricists The Treatment, Emmelie de Forest and Lawrie Martin.
Lucie said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be invited to take part in Eurovision: You Decide. Never Give Up On You is an incredibly powerful song, especially when sung live! I can’t wait to perform it live on BBC Two on Friday night.”
Producer Robert Mackintosh said: “On behalf of the producers of RENT, we are delighted that Lucie Jones has been selected to sing one of the six songs in the running to compete for UK’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. Lucie is one of the UK’s brightest young talents and a valued company member. We wish her every success for Eurovision: You Decide this Friday.”
Lucie most recently starred as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (Curve, Leicester). Her other theatre credits include Molly Jenson on tour in Ghost the Musical, Victoria in American Psycho at The Almeida, Meatloaf in the International Tour of We Will Rock You and Cosette in Les Miserables at Queen’s Theatre, London’s West End and O2 Arena. Lucie also toured the UK in The X Factor Arena Tour.
The cast of RENT also includes Billy Cullum as Mark Cohen, Ross Hunter as Roger Davis, Ryan O’Gorman as Tom Collins, Javar La’trial Parker as Benjamin Coffin III, Layton Williams as Angel Schunard, Philippa Stefani as Mimi Marquez and Shanay Holmes as Joanne Jefferson, with Jenny O’Leary, Katie Bradley, Joshua Dever, Kevin Yates, Bobbie Little, Christina Modestou, Jordan Laviniere, Harrison Clark and Oliver Bingham.
Jonathan Larson’s musical, inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème, won four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996. Ben Brantley’s New York Times review was a love letter to the show, calling RENT an “exhilarating, landmark rock opera”. RENT ran on Broadway for 12 years, from 1996 to 2008. The show premiered in London’s West End in 1998 at the Shaftesbury Theatre, where it ran for 18 months. It was adapted into a film in 2005.
Larson’s world is inhabited by a group of bohemian artists who struggle to maintain their friendships and their non-conformist ideals in New York’s East Village. Facing their problems head on, they make personal self-discoveries and find what really matters most in life. The poignancy of the story was heightened when Jonathan Larson died of an aortic dissection on 25 January 1996, the night before the show’s first off-Broadway performance at New York Theatre Workshop.
The much-loved score features songs such as Seasons Of Love, Take Me Or Leave Me, What You Own, One Song Glory, La Vie Bohème, Without You, I’ll Cover You, Out Tonight and I Should Tell You.
The new production of RENT has Choreography by Lee Proud, Musical Direction by Phil Cornwell, Set Design by Olivier Award-winner Anna Fleischle, Costume Design by Loren Elstein, Lighting Design by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rick Fisher, Sound Design by Olivier Award-winner Mike Walker, Video Design by Andrzej Goulding and Casting by Will Burton Casting.
For more information on the show’s tour and to book your tickets, visit the show’s website.