The Hamilton Effect

When I finally saw Hamilton I knew there was no point in writing a review.

One, I saw it during previews so that would break the rules anyway, two, I’m a big fan so giving a unbiased opinion is not in my remit and three, I doubt anyone needs a minor blogger lending weight to a show that won 12 Tony’s.

It pretty much sells itself.

We knew Hamilton was a monolith of musical theatre when it started gaining mega traction on Broadway, but it’s only since it landed on our side of the Atlantic that I’ve truly felt the magnitude of the Hamilton effect.

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Aaron Burr, sir. | Picture: Hamilton West End

 

It’s the same circus as it is in New York, a total sell out with people scrambling to bag tickets in the daily lottery. But these people aren’t die hard HamFans anymore, a show as big as this is piercing the musical theatre bubble that often wards off those who get a rash from the thought of sitting through a West End show or paying the required price for a ticket.

A prime example for you here: my boyfriend -who laughed his way through the first 10 minutes of the film version of Les Mis blindly- agreed to go and watch Hamilton without so much as listening to a clip of the soundtrack.

The hype around Hamilton has increased to such a degree that people are signing up to find out what’s going on inside the Victoria Palace Theatre without so much as a grain of information about the show.

Hype sells, and now they too want to be in the room where it happens (pardon the pun).

So what does this mean for die hard theatre goers and dedicated fans? It ups the stakes ticket wise, and sadly the most recent ticket release has amped up the prices to near broadway scale.

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Excuse the poor image quality but I was too full of shaky excitement to even care about aesthetics.

Seats I got tickets for in the first ever London release are now triple the price I paid first time around, if you’re not willing to pay above £60 for a seat at the Victoria Palace then sadly you need to prepare yourself for a restricted view.

For a musical like Hamilton, that challenged so many musical theatre conventions – a majority minority cast, relevant political statements and a storyline delivered in rap – the out pricing of average people is one I hoped it would also break.

Sadly this doesn’t seem to be true for Ham and we can only hope that other theatrical productions don’t follow suit.

Sure, Hamilton is an anomaly and we may never see another pop culture phenomenon like it in our lifetime, but £150 for the royal circle seems reductive to the biggest problem in making theatre accessible – affordability.

There’s always the daily lottery I guess.

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