Declan Bennett needs another suitcase.
The London-native, who’s currently touring the United States in “Rent,” packed according to the abrupt changes in traveling temperatures, but every gay man knows that enough clothes are, well, never enough.
“My suitcase is outrageous,” insists Bennett, 25, from a tour stop in Arkansas. “If I could I’d have another one.”
The Boy George-praised musician plays Roger, an HIV-positive singer-songwriter recovering from a heroin addiction, but admits it was a challenge dealing with a virus he doesn’t have.
He channeled his emotions through friends who are infected. “It kind of, I guess, helped bring some light to the table,” he says.
Bennett fell for “Rent” at 16. “It was such a progressive piece; I had never seen anything like it,” he admits.
At 17 he did eleven callbacks for the musical, but then his music trumped his thespian career. “I had no idea it was going to come back at me. But that’s what basically happened.”
Bennett, just 22, took the lead role in Boy George’s West End musical, “Taboo,” where the director of “Rent” noticed him and offered him the part as Roger.
The “Rent” crew crammed rehearsals into a two-week span, about seven hours a day, at a New York theater. “It wasn’t like massively long days, but we were fitting a lot into each day,” he says. “When I wasn’t rehearsing, I was out exploring.”
Aside from exploring New York and stretching his thespian chops with “Rent,” he’ll delve more into intimacy on his upcoming sophomore album tentatively titled “An Innocent Evening of Drinking.” The songs, which he’s written over the last 18 months, are a natural progression from his debut disc.
“These first two albums have just (explored) different aspects of relationships, or not having relationships, or things like one-night stands or sex.”
Masonic Temple Theatre, Detroit