Friday 28 December 2018

Hamilton At The Victoria Palace Theatre London Review

Of all the musicals I've fallen in love with over the last few years ever since seeing Wicked for the first time, Hamilton has been one to stand out from the rest. From the very first time I listened to the song Alexander Hamilton, I had been desperate to see it and I still can't quite believe that for our wedding anniversary this year, we actually did. After booking the tickets over 6 months ago and been obsessed with the soundtrack for so much longer, I can't even tell you how exciting it was to finally be in the room where it happens.
Hamilton programme and tickets
So, I don't really know where to start because I have so much to stay. First of all the Victoria Palace Theatre is beyond stunning. It's recently refurbished so everything just feels brand new. As soon as you walk in you feel like you're somewhere special. Despite hearing many comments about how long it can take to get in and all of the checks they do, it was all such a simple process and before we knew it we were in our seats. To add to that, our seats were so much better than I could have predicted. As I'd been wanting to see this for such a long time, I'd gone over and over which seats were best and when it came to booking, after much deliberation we went for row F of the Royal Circle. They looked good just from the photos I'd seen but we picked perfectly. If you want to see all of the action, like the revolving stage and the choreography from the ensemble then I think the Royal Circle is the best choice. We felt so close and didn't miss a thing. I suppose the only thing I can comment on which was a little annoying was the lack of leg room. It was something I'd heard about but no matter how small you are, and I'm pretty small, you still feel quite crammed in. The show is so good though that you're constantly distracted so I'd personally put up with it over and over again. The seats were worth every single penny we spent on them.
Outside the Victoria Palace Theatre
Hamilton stage - west end
As you might imagine being as soppy as I am, I was emotional as soon as we walked in. In fact I cried more than I ever have at a show before, and I don't think it helped that I was surrounded by lots of other people feeling exactly the same which only set me off each time, even more. So in short, I cried when we walked to our seats and I saw the stage for the first time, when Alexander Hamilton started, during Wait For It, Dear Theodosia, One Last Time, Burn, Stay Alive Reprise, It's Quiet Uptown, The Room Where It Happens, The World Was Wide Enough and Who Live Who Dies Who Tells Your Story. It was such an emotional show but I think a lot of it was because I had just waited to so long and it's hard to believe you're actually there and it's finally happening right in front of you. You're also aware of how fast it's going though and all I could think was, I don't want it to be over yet. 

Anyway, let's get onto the cast who just blew me away. After listening to the original soundtrack for such a long time and loving the cast, I wasn't sure how it would compare in 'real life' but if anything it was better. Hearing those songs live and seeing them come to life, with added in choreography and comedy, it was just everything. To say it's such a simple stage and set, they do so much with it. The whole ensemble are involved at all times and it feels like a real team. Not only that though but you see how much they enjoy themselves, despite how gruelling the show must be to perform each day as it's just so full on.

In regards to the cast I'm pretty sure we had absolutely no understudies, which for a show like this is pretty unheard of. Not that it would have mattered if we did as everyone is so talented but there were a few select people I was keen to see and they were all mindblowing. Sifiso Mazibuko as Aaron Burr was everything I hoped. He played it in a way that really makes you feel for Burr, I never felt he was the villain he often gets portrayed to be and his voice was just amazing. We had Ash Hunter as Alexander Hamilton, and I loved his take on the role. After only listening to Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton I was intrigued to see how different Ash would be but he was brilliant. He added lots of comedy elements where he could in songs but brought such emotion to the sadder parts like Quiet Uptown. His crying only made me cry more. It was an emotional second act! Rachelle Ann Go as Eliza surprised me actually as just from listening the soundtrack, I've never been Eliza's biggest fan. I always felt she let Alex off too easily despite everything that he did during their time together and I was always more team Angelica but the way Rachelle played her, completely changed my opinion! I felt for her so much and it just shows how good she is in the role as I never expected to feel that way. A few other highlights for me were Dom Hartley-Harris as George Washington (There are just no words for One Last Time) Jason Pennycooke as Lafayette/Jefferson, Tarinn Callender as Mulligan/Madison and Jon Robyns as King George. The whole cast though is insanely talented, you're in for such a treat whoever you see.
Front of the Victoria Palace Theatre
I feel like I've gone on for long enough but if you get chance to see this show, please just go for it. It's expensive and incredibly hard to get tickets for but it's beyond worth it. It's just an outstanding piece of theatre, Lin-Manuel Miranda really has created something magical and I don't think anything that creates this much hype will come around again for a long time. The show just never stops and it makes you feel every possible emotion throughout, I've never seen anything like it. I feel so lucky we got to go and it was just the perfect way to spend our first wedding anniversary, it was unforgettable.

Have you seen Hamilton? If so, I'd love to know what you thought!

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