Hamilton: Unprecedented demand for Edinburgh show tickets

From early press speculation about Hamilton the musical coming to Edinburgh, to the year long anticipation with full boards on the Bridges as roadworks continued in 2023, at last the waiting is over as the production has opened at the Festival Theatre with an unprecedented demand for tickets.
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The genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda in book, lyrics and music unveiled Off Broadway in February 2015 was the reward for seven years of composition and based on the 2004 Alexander Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow, this was revolutionary in casting non-white actors in the roles of America’s founding fathers and by using hip-hop & rap in a stage musical to illustrate the story. With universal acclaim it transferred to Broadway with 16 Tony Award nominations winning 11 including Best Musical. Three years ago, a filmed version of the stage show was a hit on subscription TV channel Disney+.

Hamilton was a West Indies immigrant who became right hand man to George Washington during the Revolutionary War becoming first treasury secretary. His life, loves and family are documented in the show and of course his demise. However, nothing can prepare you for the spectacle before you. From the opening signature number where the whole story is previewed before us the action never relents.

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The verbal dexterity of the performers are outstanding with Shaq Taylor as Alexander Hamilton and Sam Oladeinde as Aaron Barr ably supported by Maya Britto as Eliza Hamilton and Aisha Jawando as her sister Angelica. These fast lyrical storylines written by creator Lin-Manuel Miranda are delivered first class and special mention too for the part of King George III and his wonderfully camp singalong You’ll Be Back played by Daniel Boys.

Shaq Taylor as Alexander Hamilton (Pic: Danny Kaan)Shaq Taylor as Alexander Hamilton (Pic: Danny Kaan)
Shaq Taylor as Alexander Hamilton (Pic: Danny Kaan)

The music varies from Eminem style rap to trading lines to one of the most popular songs in standard musical theatre form with The Room Where It Happens, but all warmly received. Throughout the show we experience the creative choreography from Andy Blankenbuehler, looking more inventive with David Korins’ revolving stage and seamlessly complete with the faultless direction from Thomas Kail.

I noticed an enthusiastic response from original Broadway producer Jeffrey Seller, and he should know with four Tony Awards. He sat with producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh whom I asked how this production compares with what he has seen. ‘Among the best’, he replied ‘outstanding’, and the sold-out performances here must agree. From the welcoming pipers as on our arrival to the array of quality merchandise on all floors, the attention to detail was impressive.

This tour opened in Manchester last November and will continue city residences until closing in Cardiff in January 2025. If you can get along before they go, you will not regret it.

Edinburgh Festival Theatre until April 27th