I went to see Hamilton last night.
There’s a lot of publicity about it. Must see/ unforgettable etc etc.
It’s a rap musical about one of the ‘ Founding Fathers’ of America. A lot of the FF’s went on to be President, but Hamilton didn’t, though his influence has been ‘ a bit forgotten by history’.
Most of the cast are black. Historically of course, slavery in America was very much alive and well at that time, and blacks were very much ‘ second rate citizens’ ( officially! ) until the 1960’s and even beyond ( unbelievably ). Obviously lots would argue that they still are.
So to cast most of the influential people of that era with black actors is a little odd.
Rap music is by definition fast paced. You have to listen again and again to tune into the meanings ( I think ) so to act a complex historical ‘ plot ‘ about many characters that aren’t at all familiar to you ( especially in England, because we aren’t scholars of American history, as a rule ) with rap … isn’t a great formula in terms of being understandable…
Given musicals TEND to attract, well, a less intellectual crowd than say a play by Shakespeare, I can’t really see how the format can work, in terms of attracting large audiences.
I mean, it was ok… it was lively, there was no spoken dialogue at all, other than some narration at the start.
So it’s a fast moving storyline, acted in fast paced rap, about a lot of people that mean little or nothing to a British audience, played by a cast that’s ‘ colour inaccurate’.
Doesn’t sound like a formula for success, does it?
Theatres are often full of people who seem to ‘ loudly guffaw ‘ at ‘ jokes’ in the script. Either they have unusual senses of humour, or they are hamming it up as much as the peeps on the stage are. Last night was no exception. This play isn’t a comedy, for sure.
If you are American, have studied early American politics, and are familiar with the characters in this play, like rap music a lot, like musicals, like a crowded theatre with long, long queues for the lavvy… then you should DEFINITELY see this production.
If you aren’t the above, see something else.
Like ‘ The Emperor has no clothes’, perhaps ?
Great wheelchair accessibility, btw.