HAMILTON, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breath-taking hip-hop musical is quite simply the hottest ticket on the planet right now.
On Broadway, touts have demanded thousands of dollars for a solitary breif, while in London, where producers Delfont Mackintosh rightly have a strict ban on reselling tickets in place, resale sites have still asked for as much as £6,000 a ticket - buy at your peril as entry restrictions are in place at the theatre.
So, just what is it about this musical, which charts the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, that has captured the world’s imagination and attracted a new generation of musical fans to London’s Victoria Palace Theatre?
Well, as I discovered last weekend, Hamilton is a magical, engaging spectacular laced with a dark vein of humour that makes for a glorious fun evening.
Seated in Row B of the Royal Circle, with the best view in the house of David Korins’ striking set, the buzz in the auditorium was palpable as 7.30pm approached.
In fact, the atmosphere was so charged with expectation that the slow dimming of the house lights ahead of the opening number was all it took for the place to erupt.
Before a note had been sung or a foot set on stage, the audience were roaring their approval, a phenomenon which continued after each song; every one quite literally a show-stopper.
It became apparent pretty quickly that it’s easy to fall under Hamilton’s spell. Sung-through, the story fairly rolls along. The ‘raps’ are insanely catchy and the energy and talent on stage, mesmerising.
Andy Blankenbuehler’s chunky street-smart choreography allows the action to flow seamlessly as does a clever revolving stage that is used to great effect.
Costumes are beautifully stylised and director Thomas Kail with musical director Richard Beadle make certain their cast is at the top of their game.
Sassy and bold, Miranda’s sharp lyrics allow actors and audience to play together, never more so than when Michael Jibson takes to the stage as King George in the show-stealing number You’ll Be Back, which boasted the most unexpected audience participation the night I saw it.
Other stand out performances to watch for in the West End production are Giles Terera as Aaron Burr and Rachel John as Angelica Schuyler, both are meticulous.
All you need now is to get one of those much coveted tickets. The good news is, it doesn’t have to cost the Earth.
HAMILTON is at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London and is currently booking until 15 December 2018, with best availability from August onwards. In addition there are £10 daily Lottery tickets and possible late release tickets on the day. Check the website for current availability at hamiltonmusical.com/london