HAMILTON: The next Harry Potter or a big fuss over nothing?

Back in June 2016 it was announced that the Broadway smash hit musical HAMILTON, which tells the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War, would be making its way over to London in 2017. The show is set to open at the newly renovated Victoria Palace Theatre in November 2016 with tickets going on sale on 16 January 2017 to those who pre-registered and 30 January for the general public. Tickets were originally due to go on sale in November 2016 but this was pushed back.

Tickets for the Broadway production are currently selling for up to $5000 EACH which is crazy. Producer Cameron Mackintosh has announced a strict ticket buying process for the London production, with a maximum of four tickets on sale per person. Tickets will not be produced for the London production in order to stop re-selling of tickets. Customers are being told to take their confirmation email, plus identification to the box office on the day of the performance where the card they used to buy the tickets will be swiped in order to produce the tickets. Producers are hoping that this will stop ticket touters buying tickets and selling them on for a much higher value. This new method of ticket buying may mean that you are unable to buy tickets on behalf of anyone else or as a gift, as the cardholder must be there to collect the tickets.

Everyone I have spoken to about this show coming to London has said they can’t wait to see this show. But when I ask why, the main reason they want to see it doesn’t seem to be because of the music or the storyline but because of the hype that has been built up over it. So, is it all just a clever marketing ploy, making people feel like they have to see this show or they will have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?

I’ve listened to the Hamilton CD and it is great. I’m going to New York in March and will definitely be entering the lottery to try to win tickets to see the show whilst I’m there. But I know nothing about the storyline and very little seems to be being said about what the show is actually about. Is this because it may not appeal to UK audiences?

A similar thing happened when The Book Of Mormon came to London. Ticket prices on Broadway were through the roof and they used the success of Broadway for the UK Marketing campaign with slogans like “Beg, steal or borrow a ticket” making people feel like tickets were scarce and hard to get hold of. The truth is, after the initial buzz died down when the show opened, tickets were (and still are) very easy to get hold of. Now, before you all start, I will say that tickets are still selling very well for this show, three years after it opened and as I blogged about earlier this week, tickets for the show are still the most expensive in the West End at £200 for a premium seat and they are still being bought by people. So the show has a definite appeal. But, on a monthly basis, the show announces it is extending its booking period by a further month (currently only booking until the end of April), cleverly making a newsworthy story that The Book Of Mormon is doing so well it is extending in the West End. The truth is, the show could do what most shows do and say it is booking for the next twelve months but instead it keeps itself in the news by extending very regularly.

I guess my point of this blog is, like with news that we are due heavy snow, don’t feel the need to run out and stock up the cupboards with bread incase we get snowed in because chances, are it won’t happen. HAMILTON is positioning itself to sell out like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has done every time tickets go on sale but the chances are it won’t. In fact, a recent online poll by The Stage revealed that the show their readers are most looking forward to seeing in 2017 is Gary Barlow’s musical The Girls (42%) with Hamilton second with 36%, so on that basis, should we all be fearing not being able to buy tickets to see The Girls as that seems to be more popular? Well, tickets for that are on sale and I haven’t heard any stories of difficulty getting tickets to that. So chances are, we probably don’t need to have sleepless nights over getting tickets to Hamilton.

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