Thursday 21 September 2017

Hamilton preview shows rescheduled after delay in theatre re-opening

The major building work has pushed back the venue’s opening by two weeks later this year.

Victoria Palace Theatre
Victoria Palace Theatre

By Francesca Gosling

At least 16 London performances of hotly anticipated musical Hamilton have been rescheduled, organisers have announced.

The opening shows in the West End later this year have been pushed back following a delay of two weeks for the planned re-opening of the refurbished Victoria Palace Theatre.

Originally set to launch on November 21, the previews will now begin on December 6.

In a lengthy statement posted on the show’s website on Friday, producer Cameron Mackintosh apologised for the changes, which he said was a result of issues arising throughout the multi-million pound building project.

He wrote: “I am, of course, sorry to amend the performance schedule, but undertaking a private rebuilding project on this scale in Central London has no precedent.”

He explained: “The time constraints to access the land around the theatre to enable the rebuild and getting the show open to the public by the end of this year have been equally tight, not helped by the theatre being built over the huge King’s Scholars’ Pond Sewer, an active 200 year-old brick tunnel.

“Added to the usual unhelpful problems that always happen when doing up old buildings, this has put pressure on the time needed to commission the entirely new services that have been installed at the theatre and obtain the necessary licences to reopen to the public.

“We have therefore needed to take a pragmatic decision to reschedule the previews of Hamilton to commence on December 6, two weeks later than originally planned.”

He added: “Thanks to the phenomenal efforts of the amazing team (of hundreds) working often around the clock to get the theatre ready, I look forward to welcoming our patrons to the newly constructed theatre where Frank Matcham’s masterpiece will be revealed in even greater splendour as a spectacular home for this landmark musical.”

The news has come as a major blow to ticket-holders, some of whom had made plans to fly into the country for the show.

One person replied to Hamilton’s update via Twitter: “Seriously I have hotel, plane and vacation already, plus tickets for two other show, plus a lack of funds to take a short trip later as well.”

Another added: “Please know that there are people ALL ROUND THE WORLD flying to London to see the show and got things booked months ago.”

Organisers announced via social media that they would provide all ticket-holders with “reseating information” of the preview shows within hours of the news.

Responding to complaints from those who had paid for performances after the show had fully opened, that would now fall into the new preview window – and priced at more than £100 per ticket – organisers promised to “refund the difference”.

Press Association

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment