The West End’s Golden Ticket: Why you should be in the room where it happens (Hamilton REVIEW)

London has had to wait for it, but the arrival of Lin Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece ‘Hamilton’ is finally upon us, and in it’s first few months of shows.

When I mention Hamilton to those unfamiliar, I am often met with a raised eyebrow. I can see the confusion flitting over their face. A hip hop musical? About a founding father? The pair seem like an unlikely match, but I can personally testify that it’s a marriage meant to be.

For those of you who have managed to evade the hype or are suspicious of it success, here’s some incentive for you to check it out:

Not only is Miranda’s musical centred around revolution, it’s a revolution for the world of musical theatre in itself, bringing with it a diverse cast truly reflecting a modern-day America... The musical also brings a revolution of words. It’s fast paced, non-stop lyrics are the driving force of the show. Delivering both sharp comedic timing and heart wrenching agony, as we follow Hamilton on his odyssey from a young man, hungry for success, to a father unravelled by his own words. Words, for Hamilton, are both his greatest success and failure, and the ingenuity of the musical rests upon this.

Thomas Kail creates an exuberant atmosphere with his direction and exquisite staging. He employs the use of a revolving stage, that cleverly plays with the element of time, Hamilton’s enemy. We witness time rewind and slow down throughout the course of the musical, both agonising and brilliant. 

Never have I attended a musical where the atmosphere was so electric, each song was met with deafening applause, audience members cheered when their favourite characters appeared on stage. I even spied two old women in the front row dancing wildly in their seats. The very second the last word had been sung the theatre urgently leapt to a standing ovation, excitement ricocheting around the room. Hamilton has managed to americanise a seemingly quiet, British audience, usually less willing to display affection.

Hamilton’s story despite being over 200 years old has never been more relevant, weaving in narratives on many of today’s important issues. Angelica Schuyler raps ‘you want a revolution, I want a revelation, so listen to my declaration’ as she promises to address Thomas Jefferson to ‘include women in the sequel’. Hamilton and Lafayette weigh in on immigration, singing in unison, ‘immigrants, we get the job done’. A line met with a roaring cry of support from the audience. Guns are also put under the spotlight, with every tragedy Hamilton faces rooting from them. A reminder that history is to be learnt from. No doubt this is the musical that Trump's America needs; luckily it’s quickly spreading across states and taking up residence.

If you’re a student looking to the horizon line of graduation and feeling a little afraid I urge you to see this musical. Initially, Hamilton is going to make you feel like an outrageous underachiever, but it will make you question ‘who lives, who dies, who tells your story?’, it will inspire you to ‘write your way out’ and will enflame in you a former sense of ambition that may have been quashed by the perils of student life. Hamilton wrote 51 essays in the span of 6 months, I think we can manage a dissertation, right?

Don’t throw away your shot to be in the room where it happens. Hamilton is now playing at the Victoria Palace Theatre but BEWARE tickets are highly sort after, so book sooner rather than later. Or, hedge your bets on the Hamilton Lottery offering affordable tickets for a lucky few.

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★