Entertainment

Friday 17 August 2018

Everything you need to know about Hamilton ahead of opening night

The show tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton

By Laura Harding

As the Tony-award winning musical Hamilton – about one of America’s Founding Fathers – opens in the West End, here are some of the things to know about the show.

You don’t need to know about US history, or even who Alexander Hamilton was

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Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who originated the part on Broadway, has said most American audiences do not know anything about Hamilton and the show is educating them as much as it is entertaining.

Hamilton was the US’s first Treasury Secretary but also an adulterer and a revolutionary – and the show gives insight into his private life as well as his professional achievements.

The show does not just use hip hop and rap

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While it is billed as a hip hop and rap musical, it is as much a homage to classic Broadway shows, with elements of Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim sprinkled in throughout.

While characters take on the rapping styles of different performers – notably Hamilton as Rakim and Hercules Mulligan as Busta Rhymes – there are also tributes to Les Miserables, The Last Five Years and Company.

There are digs at the British

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The main comic relief of the show is from King George III, who was monarch during the American Revolutionary War.

Miranda has said he is interested to see if the gags play differently in London.

Hamilton is a ticketless show

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In a bid to deter touts the show is using a ticketless system, so patrons must use their email booking confirmation, payment card and photo ID to get in to the theatre

When the payment card is swiped, audiences members will be given a print out with their seating information on it.

This means tickets cannot be given away or sold because the named cardholder must be present.

You can still get tickets

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While Hamilton is mainly sold out, there are tickets available every month until June 2018.

There is also a lottery for every show on the Hamilton app, allowing lucky winners to buy two tickets for just £10 each and a limited number of premium tickets will also be released online at 12pm every Monday for all of the following week’s performances.

Get there early

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The ticketless system means there can be queues to get in to the theatre.

The Hamilton website and Ticketmaster advise arriving one hour before showtime and the wait to buy merchandise can be even longer.

Hamilton opens at the Victoria Palace Theatre on December 21.

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