Hamilton is one of the hottest tickets in the West End at the moment since it opened in December 2017 due to the fact it is such a big hit in the USA. I have to admit my knowledge of American history is pretty limited so I didn’t know what was going to happen in the story but that didn’t diminish the anticipation for the piece. I begins with the unrest leading up to the revolutionary war and then walks us through how the constitution was written following this.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has written an edgy, exciting score for the show different than almost anything else running in London at present. This is partly what makes the whole thing seem fresh. There are a couple of moments that do drag a little when the actors are singing about things like setting up the Bank of America however there is more than enough action the rest of the time to keep you entertained.
The diverse cast deliver the performance with talent and enthusiasm. They manage to make the hip hop movements blend with the time period and costumes rather than working against them. It was strange that the “baddie” was so popular, I don’t know if this is the case on Broadway, but I guess being the British character meant King George got a cheer every time he came on stage and Michael Jibson delivered the part with expertise and humour.
The set is very clever with the actors pulling things out that you hadn’t seen there at appropriate times. The whole piece has clearly been well produced and directed with effective changes in dynamic between the big “heroic” scenes and the quieter behind-the-scenes parts. I particularly liked the rap off between Hamilton and Jefferson to show the start of the two opposing political parties.
Overall this is amazing modern theatre that is not only an American history lesson but also tackles current equality issues that people in the USA and around the world also. The racial and political climate we face nowadays isn’t shouted about on the stage and doesn’t feel rammed down your throat but it is no coincidence that it is a primarily minority cast rising up against a white dictator. This makes it an important piece of theatre to watch but more than that it is also just incredibly enjoyable. If you can get tickets (which in itself is no easy feat) then I would encourage you to go.
Have you managed to catch Hamilton on the West End or Broadway? What did you think?