Meet the Cast of Rent: Akhil Gowrinath

"the opening night managed to crack my kneecap without realising"

Name: Akhil Gowrinath

Character Name: Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III

Tell us about your character: He used to live with Mark, Collins and Maureen in squalor as a Bohemian but has since sold out, marrying Alison “Muffy” Grey, heiress to the Grey fortune. As a result, he becomes landlord to Mark and Roger. I think deep down he is a decent guy who wants to be the same person he was before getting married, but gets caught up in his current lifestyle. He makes some questionable choices during the course of the show, which make him quite unlikeable on the face of it. 

Akhil   in rehearsal, with  Freddie Cox ,  Frankie McKean  &  Maria Langford   (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

Akhil in rehearsal, with Freddie Cox, Frankie McKean & Maria Langford (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your character? Haha – well two things: As the show suggests Benny likes money and I’m also partial. Also, like Benny, I do like my car (although I don’t drive a Range Rover).

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? Out Tonight - I love the fact that it sounds like a wolf howling “Ouwoooot Tonight”!

What other shows have you done? Far too many to say all here but highlights include, Hairspray, The Last 5 Years, Footloose, Company, Sweeney Todd, Parade, A Christmas Carol, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? The one that comes to mind instantly (for the wrong reasons) is when I was playing Smee in Peter Pan, had to do a comic fall and on the opening night managed to crack my kneecap without realising! I carried on with the rest of the run and discovered it had cracked (and healed) 5 months later!

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? Probably when I was in year 5. I had just been cast as a Wise Man in the nativity and had so much fun doing it.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? The cast are really friendly – it’s a great vibe in rehearsals. Also, Alison is a great director, she really knows what she wants, which makes it so much easier for us as the performers.

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? By day, I’m a tax advisor at a global accountancy firm!

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.

No Day But Today