Press Night! The wait is over the much-anticipated, the most hyped musical theatre production in recent years- Hamilton has hit the London stage, with a fitting new home in the recently refurbished splendour of the Victoria Palace Theatre.
Was it worth getting a ticket a year in advance? Yes. Can I see why the show is selling out and there are a limited number of tickets available up until July 2018? Yes!
Powerfully telling the story of one of America’s forgotten Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, a sung-and-rapped through musical using Rap, Hip-Hop, spoken word and R&B and Rock- opera. The lead role sees new RADA graduate 25-year-old Jamael Westman give an impressive superb performance amongst a diverse cast, with the story chronicling Hamilton’s rise from poverty to power against the backdrop of the American War of Independence.
A minimalist set balances of some the best dance choreography accompanied by melodies bleated out by an accomplished cast in period dress (set in 1772). With song driving the narrative of how a “bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman” rose to power.
Giles Terera brilliantly plays Hamilton’s mentor and nemesis Aaron Burr, as Hamilton rises Terera skilfully executes the resentment Burr feels for him. His attempts to get the attention of George Washington are weak.
Other stand out performances include Rachelle Ann Go who plays Eliza Hamilton her face may not have graced a ten-dollar bill, but she was not without her own achievements as co-founder and deputy director of the first private orphanage in New York City. Eliza would also aid Hamilton in his work and it was noted that Eliza was “as much merit” to the treasury as (Hamilton) “treasurer of the United States.” Comedic value is added by Michael Jibson as King George III. Rachel John who plays Angelica sister of Eliza has a memorable voice amongst this cast of great voices. Perhaps the Schuyler Sisters deserve a musical of their own.
Created and composed by the visionary Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda who is no stranger to awards, with 3 Tony Awards, 2 Grammys and an Emmy, he played the original lead on Broadway. Manuel wrote all the music and the lyrics inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow.
Hamilton is nothing short of genius, Puerto Rican Miranda has created a crowd pleaser, a piece of entertainment that successfully brings Hip-Hop theatre to mainstream audiences, where others have failed. In 2016, Hamilton received a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations and won 11. There is talk that the production will be made into a film.
Musical numbers like Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story, (final song of Act 2) are profound when we think about the history of America, and the current American Presidency and the young BAME actors on stage recreating a piece of American history and how they would have fitted into the story of that time and how Miranda has chosen to tell this story.
The diverse casting was one of the main attractions amongst American audiences with critical acclaim. But the story of an immigrant making good may be what will resonant with British audiences.
Due to the level of demand co-producer of the British version Cameron Mackintosh, introduced a method to combat ticket touts: a paperless ticketing system where ticket buyers bring the credit card they used to buy the tickets to the theatre to be scanned. When the musical opened on Broadway early in 2015 the demand for tickets were so high that tickets were reported to have been sold for 10K US on the secondary market.
Hamilton is an old story cleverly brought into the present using the powerful phenomena that is Hip-Hop music. It was no surprise that when leaving the Victoria Palace Theatre, a group of eager and excited teenagers were waving autograph books.
Dates: on stage till 28th July 2018
Where: Victoria Palace Theatre Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 5EA
Good luck getting a ticket as tickets are limited. But you can try the Hamilton lottery where you might just get your hands on a golden ticket! For a £10 ticket, theatregoers will need to sign up for tickets daily, opening at 4pm and closing at 2pm the following day. If successful ticket holders will be contacted via the app to pay for their ticket. Click here for lottery info.