Tuesday 23 October 2018

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda ‘overwhelmed’ at West End opening

The show has been a sensation in the US.

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda said he was “overwhelmed and grateful” as his hip hop musical about of one of America’s founding fathers opened in the West End to a standing ovation.

The show – which has been a sensation on Broadway, bagged 11 Tony Awards and scored creator Miranda a Pulitzer Prize – uses different musical genres to tell the story of the US’s first Treasury Secretary.

After the show, Miranda joined the cast on stage to thunderous applause from a star-studded audience which included Helena Bonham Carter, Jodie Whittaker, Brian May, Ronnie Wood, Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan, Bryan Cranston, Julian Fellowes and Richard Curtis.

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Helena Bonham Carter (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He said: “There has been a lot of press about this show and I read the words ‘overnight success’ a lot of times, and I want do dissuade that immediately because every single person on this stage has waited so long for this moment to share the show with you.

“This cast was cast a year ago and before that they were working their hearts out in school, and there was a moment when some teacher or some parent said to them ‘you can do this, there are sensible career options but you could do this if you have the chance’, so I am in awe of this incredible company who made miracles happen to perform for you tonight.”

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He added: “Alexander Hamilton never made it to Europe, which he loved, he never made it to London, which he desired, he was in awe of Europe and what occurred here, and he learned so much but he never left the continental United States.

“Yet here we are in London premiering Hamilton in the West End and I am so grateful, I am so overwhelmed and a lot of people made miracles happen for us to stand here tonight, and I am grateful to all of them.”

The show opened in London two weeks later than originally planned after renovations to the Victoria Palace Theatre delayed the start of previews.

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Performances were initially slated to begin on November 21 and thousands of ticket-holders had to be re-seated.

Before the show started, Miranda told the Press Association: “The energy is just incredible and it’s been a joy to work on. This company is so incredible and so humble, and it’s been a joy to work on and they are such a family already. I can’t wait to cheer them on.”

He added: “I’ve lived here most of the year and I have such affection for London.

“Before this, the only other times I’ve been to London is to see shows, the shows you can’t miss. I went and got my Harry Potter tickets like everyone else, so I’m just thrilled to be a part of it. “

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Asked how he thought London audiences would respond to such an American story, he said: “It’s specifically about an American revolution but I couldn’t tell you what specific French revolution powers Les Mis, I am hoping that the themes of legacy and what do we do with the time we have on this earth will strike a chord no matter who you are and where you are from.”

Hamilton is currently booking to June 30 2018.

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