It’s been well over a year since the Hamilton hype train began, with people scrambling for the first block of tickets. Would us Brits embrace the show as much as US audiences had? Could this become the next must see show on the West End? Judging by the audience at the performance I attended, the answer is a unanimous yes.
The creator Lin-Manuel Miranda seems to have achieved the impossible. A musical based on the life story of Alexander Hamilton – one of the founding fathers in the United States, seem like a challenge in itself, but creating a score that fuses hip-hop with a conventional musical theatre score, the production feels fresh and exciting.
Lin-Manuel Miranda hasn’t reprised his Tony nominated performance, but new British talent Jamael Westman gives a phenomenal performance and makes the part his own. Just the sheer skill of being able to rap through practically the entire score is a challenge in itself. I think we’ll be seeing an awful lost of him in the future. The entire cast is superb, including support from Giles Terera as Aaron Burr, who also functions as the narrator, to a scene stealing performance by Michael Jibson as Prince George, to an outstanding female contribution including shattering performances West End stars Rachelle Ann Go and Rachel John.
Thanks to Broadway scenic designer David Korins the show never feels static. His set design creates an open environment with upper platforms, descending walkway and a revolving stage that continually keeps the action moving as fast a the spoken rap.Special mention also to the fantastic choreography, which is probably the best I’ve seen on a west end stage for a very long time, It’s a clever mix of urban free-style blended with with classic musical theatre steps. Director Thomas Kail keeps the whole production moving at a thunderous pace.
Hamilton is like no other show you’ll see. It’s intricate mix of Hip-Hop, R&B and traditional musical theatre all contribute to create one of he most dazzling and original shows I’ve seen for years.. Even after the first number, the audience went wild. It felt less like being in a theatre and more like seeing a great gig at Wembley. By a ticket for it now. Even if you have to wait a few months to see it, you wont be disappointed.
Review by Paul Diment.
Currently playing at Victoria Palace Theatre, London – Tickets at www.ticketmaster.co.uk