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Theatre Review: Hamilton

Kirsten Murray finds out if the West End sensation is really worth the hype

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Image Credit: Pete Souza

<span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">In March, after over six months since buying the tickets, the wait was over, and the day came to finally see Hamilton. Every single person who I heard had seen it gave it rave reviews and rated it as a true legendary must see, but what is it that makes Hamiltonso special and what is to be expected? Firstly, expect the unexpected.</span>
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<span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">I had no idea what to expect when awaiting the first chord of the performance, however within the first song it was obvious that this production was going to be unlike anything I had ever seen before. With a big ensemble and open spaced set, it is the cast that ties together the whole performance and creates a brilliant piece of theatre. Aaron Burr’s opening song fuels the play with intrigue and tension as we learn how all the characters link to Alexander Hamilton, the most shocking confession being that Burr himself, is the man who shot him.</span>

<span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">It is from this point that the plot unfolds into a story with filled with success, passion, betrayal and utter heartbreak. </span><span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">Personally, I believe the plot makes the play absolutely unforgettable. The life of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father of America, is nothing short of fascinating and many of his life events seem so tragic and unthinkable that I was astonished to afterwards read that they were all in fact true.</span>
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<span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">Without wanting to sound too much like a serious school teacher, I can honestly say that this play is incredibly educational as through powerful musical numbers, superb storytelling and a fast gripping plot a genuine interest for this period of American history was sparked within me. I spent the train journey home googling all about his life to learn more about this remarkable man and his tragic death. Hamilton will open your eyes to a truly inspirational man of history and I cannot emphasise enough how powerful his story is. </span>

<span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">Now I must of course draw focus to the music, yet *Hamilton *is no ordinary musical with its genre predominantly residing in rap. I cannot claim to be a huge rap fan myself, however these tracks went straight onto my Spotify playlist with the whole ensemble creating a magnificent performance for each number. Karl Queensborough, Cleve September, Sifiso Mazibuko and Jason Pannycooke (playing Hamilton, John Laurens/Philip Hamilton, Aaron Burr and Lafayette/Jefferson respectively) all had incredible voices, and their manipulation of lyrics was genius and absolute sheer talent. A natural beat carried the whole performance, even in the spoken moments which weren’t directly part of a song. I cannot write about the music without giving particular mention to one of my favourite tracks ‘My Shot’, performed near the beginning, this song becomes an anthem for the characters and sets the fighting tone of the whole play. Contrasting this is the beautiful ‘It’s Quiet Uptown’, a ballad which deals with Hamilton and his wife’s personal tragedy.</span>

<span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">Another aspect quite unique to the play is the way songs are interlinked together throughout with key lines from previous songs reappearing later in the story, almost as a reminder of Hamilton’s phenomenal journey.  </span><span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">In reference to my question, the answer is yes.</span>

<span class="colour" style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0)">The hype of Hamilton is most definitely worth it but be prepared and open to see a piece of theatre completely different from anything seen before. This is no ordinary show on the West End and it is certainly not trying to fit the stereotype of a traditional musical. The show is big, bold, busy and tells an important story of the fight for independence, a developing America, the backstabbing nature of American politics and the strength and determination of the man it is all for. Alexander Hamilton. </span>

Image Credit: Play Ball Store
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