The Musical ‘Hamilton’, written by Lin Manuel Miranda, was first performed in 2016 on Broadway, NYC. He played the main character himself, that of Alexander Hamilton, the lesser known American ‘founding father’ who started as a poor orphan to become a war hero and eventually the first Finance Minister of the newly liberated country. The story tells us of his rise to power, how he fought in the American War of Independence and the difficulties he faced through his eventful life.

The ground breaking show won many awards, including ‘Best Musical’. The music is a novel mix of jazz, hip hop and rap and the choreography and stage set are similarly impressive.

We had booked our tickets to the London performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre last year but the show was postponed several times due to the pandemic. On the big night, we sat in excitement and anticipation in the stalls just a few rows back from the stage. Some Covid restrictions were being applied; masks were encouraged but not mandatory and there was no social distancing once seated. Ushers carried signs instructing the audience to silence their phones and not to take photographs.

I wondered how the London production would compare with the original Broadway show. Most of the London cast were British actors so they had the added challenge of performing in American accents to keep the narrative realistic. Very soon it became clear that we were watching an impressive performance. Every actor was thoroughly committed to their character and did not appear at all fazed by the pressure of delivering such a challenging story line.

The audience reaction was lively and interactive with the performers. For example, when King George III, played by Harry Hemple, came onto the stage, people cheered and started singing along to the lyrics. He expertly overacted his character which gave his part a dramatic lift with a touch of humour, inviting audience reaction and creating an interactive buzz around the theatre.

In conclusion, I would thoroughly recommend ‘Hamilton’ as a fun night at the theatre for all age groups. It delivers great dance, vocal and acting performances using some catchy tunes and clever lyrics to tell us about the American war of Independence and the birth of a nation.

By Kamran Seward