REVIEW: HAMILTON (Victoria Palace Theatre) ★★★★★
I was lucky enough to win the Hamilton lottery during early previews of the show and was elated to get front row tickets for just £10 each *insert smug face*. Unlike most, I haven’t been counting down the days until the show opens in the West End and thought I could take it or leave it when it came to the songs I had heard. I also wasn’t sure if an American History story would translate to London audiences but I am happy to admit I was wrong.
Alexander Hamilton made his way to America at the age of 19 and was a dedicated supporter of American Independence. Alongside Aaron Burr and three other revolutionaries John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette and Hercules Mulligan, the men dreamed of laying down their lives for their political cause. Working alongside George Washington, Hamilton helped The Continental Army become victorious and America was freed from the British and King George. But whilst Hamilton’s political future was bright, his personal reputation was ruined by scandal.
At the performance I attended, the alternate Alexander Hamilton, Ash Hunter gave his first performance of the role and he smashed it out of the park. Jason Pennycooke is no less incredible in this show than he has been in anything else he has appeared in over the last few years. He is a brilliant actor and is always a joy to watch. Michael Jibson is hilarious as King George. His vocals weren’t amazing at times but as this was an early preview, this could well have been fixed by now. Rachelle Ann Go, Christine Allado and Rachel John are all sublime as the Schuyler Sisters and Giles Terera gives a great performance as Aaron Burr.
The best thing about Hamilton is the choreography. The ensemble appear to be living their best lives in these routines. Jack Butterworth especially stood out as loving life and was incredible to watch do his thing.
I think UK audiences need to have a basic understanding of the american history story being told here as there are some complex storylines and I didn’t find it easy to follow. That said, I had the time of my life watching the dancers and the music was incredible. Now I know the story of Hamilton, I can’t wait to go back and see it again!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Matthew Murphy