REVIEW: Hamilton (Lewis) (Kings Head Theatre) ★★★
A rather clever but very silly musical parody of the hit show Hamilton, tracing the rise of Lewis Hamilton has come to the Kings Head Theatre.
The company of four actors introduce us to the show, advising us it is good for Hamilton fans and good for Formula 1 fans and questioning why anyone would be there if they were neither. One final check to see that there are no copyright lawyers in the audience and the show gets off the grid!
The stage has zero scenery and minimal props, so the actors need to work extremely hard to create the narrative and for the most part they succeed admirably.
Letitia Hector plays Hamilton (Lewis) from a young ingénue joining “Big Ron” played by Jamie Barwood, at McLaren. Our shy young hero subsequently meets Fernando Alonso (Louis Mackrodt) and gets schooled in the need for branding and sponsorships. We also see him meeting, dating and ultimately losing Nicole Scherzinger – a hilarious performance by Liberty Buckland whose own increasing branding leads to a delicately placed diamante Mercedes sign!
The show takes the outline of the Hamilton (Alexander) narrative and pinches enough lines and themes to make it familiar without the wholesale regurgitation of Spamilton. Presumably the creators of this show don’t have quite the legal budget of The Forbidden Broadway team!
Even without any knowledge of F1, the story of Hamilton (Lewis) is quite an interesting one and does actually fit the narrative of the Hamilton (Alexander) story quite well. There is some clever writing (having read the playtext, even more than I realised) and some good visual gags.
The show lacks polish but the performers make up for that with their gusto and commitment. An entertaining hour at an interesting small theatre.
Reviewed by Emma Heath