Alexander Hamilton – Ash Hunter
Eliza Hamilton – Rachelle Ann Go
Aaron Burr – Giles Terera
Angelica Schuyler – Rachel John
George Washington – Obioma Ugoala
Marquis de Lafayette/ Thomas Jefferson – Jason Pennycooke
Hercules Mulligan/Jasmes Madison – Tarrin Callender
John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton – Cleve September
Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds – Christine Allado
King George – Michael Jibson
Venue: Victoria Palace Theatre
Date: Thursday 4th January 2018 (2:30pm)
I really don’t know where to start at all with this review. Considering this show has such a huge reputation since becoming a massive hit on Broadway and his since opened in London in December 2017. Operating a Paperless ticket system which we will probably see a lot more of in the future in an attempt to stop tickets being sold for a ridiculous amount of money. The reason I’m mentioning that is because it is part of the experience of seeing the show, The Victoria Palace theatre is right next to the tube and you will see the queue as soon as you get off. Don’t worry though (like I did) as it goes down extremely quickly and as long as you have your payment card and ID it only takes seconds and you get your ticket printed out. I will admit that I was happy with that, I like my ticket collection!
The show is different and unique from the incredible mind of Lin-Manuel Miranda who I was lucky enough to see on Broadway in ‘In the Heights’, the night before it won the Tony for Best Musical. I love throwing that out there when I get the chance to mention it. I had bought the Broadway cast recording and it’s actually pretty tricky to follow with the different cast members, which I know I will now appreciate it a lot more. That is an issue when listening to cast recordings of shows you’ve never seen before.
The story is of Alexander Hamilton one of the founding Fathers of the USA. Something which in this show is told in its own version that you will not find in the history books. Considering this is not a history I know anything about, we can just all pretend this is exactly how it all happened right? A hip hop and rap musical giving Lin-Manuel Miranda another platform to shape a new form of musical theatre. Hamilton is groundbreaking in that sense mixing in so many different musical styles and routines to create something entirely different, nothing you have ever seen before on stage.
The music is haunting as we move through with the narrative and you cannot help move your head in time with it and it will certainly be on your mind all night and I am sure many days later as well.
The performances from Jason Pennycooke in his two roles especially as Jefferson was my favourite in the show, he was just absolutely fantastic from start to finish adding in so much humour as well as a fantastic vocal range and movement around the stage. It was also great to see Cleve September in this show, I was lucky enough to see his second ever performance as Usnavi in 2016 for In the Heights. So absolutely fantastic and delighted for him to now have a starring role in Hamilton, he is a truly talented actor and singer.
Ash Hunter was in the leading role of Alexander Hamilton during this performance and made it throughly enjoyable as he battled with everything going on his life to keep his wife happy along with their children. But what about his sister-in-law? That was certainly a very interesting little twist with it all, dealing with death and attempting to work with George Washington and any other President.
From listening to the soundtrack I really did love “You’ll Be Back” could have been influenced by Jonathan Groff on the Broadway cast recording but I think it then shows how different listening to a musical soundtrack to actually seeing it on stage. It is done in such a hilarious way as King George is starting to panic about the up rising of the founding fathers and the war. I wasn’t expecting this at all and I thought Michael Jibson was just brilliant in the role.
This is the third time I have seen Rachelle Ann Go on stage and she really is a true talent, she gets a chance to really show off her vocal range. I have been so impressed with her every single time I have seen her. Rachel John was also very impressive and I felt as though she really stole a lot of the scenes she was in, which is actually the second time I have said that about this incredible singer having seen her in the UK Tour of The Bodyguard and mentioning that she was the standout performer! Great to see her in such a big West End show, more than deserves it!
As I was putting this review together I was listening to the soundtrack again and I have to admit it all makes even more sense now after seeing the show, also a lot more enjoyable. Sometimes just listening isn’t enough and you get a little confused with the story. On stage though the story is told in such a fantastic way that you can constantly following the action and characters as they move throughout the story.
It has plenty of heartache and death to deal with from start to finish taking everyone on such an emotional journey. You really cannot fault anything Lin Manuel Miranda does he really is a genius coming up with shows that really push the boundaries and so different to anything else out there. Which is pretty incredible really, I remember being blown away by In the Heights and wondering how he was going to follow that up. Now the biggest question is how will he ever come up with something to rival Hamilton?
Don’t worry if you haven’t secured tickets yet, this one is going to be around in London for a very long time.
For more information about the show and ticket sales check out the Official Hamilton Website.